Set on fire & left to die

Set on fire & left to die

Firefighters who reported to where Chamber's vehicle was found burning had said that she told them "Eric" was responsible.

Tellis' trial began in Batesville, Mississippi, about 80 kilometres south of Memphis, Tennessee.

Quinton Tellis, 29, is accused of killing Chambers, a former high school cheerleader from Courtland, Miss., who was found along a back road near a tree farm almost three years ago.

Prosecutors say Tellis set Chambers and her vehicle on fire in a rural back road and left her to die.

Chambers' statement, made only hours before she died of her injuries in the hospital early the next morning, was the subject of debate in the opening of the murder trial for her accused killer, Quinton Tellis, according to multiple news reports.

If convicted, Tellis faces life in prison without parole.

Champion said her auto keys were found at the scene, allegedly with Tellis' DNA on them. At least eight first responders on the scene recalled her whispering "Eric" or "Derek". But he told jurors the evidence in the case would "change your mind".

He said Chambers and Tellis had only known each other for a short time before she was burned to death on a backroad in the rural community of Courtland.

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There are conflicting reports over whether or not Chambers named her aggressor before she passed.

Chambers was found walking on the road - wearing only underwear in 40 degree temperatures - when a passing motorist spotted her shortly after 8 p.m., Champion said. "I asked, 'Who did this to you?' She replied, 'Eric.' I asked again, 'Baby girl who did this?' and she replied, 'Eric, '" Davis said, reading his statement in court. Chambers later left home, and then called Daugherty to say she was getting something to eat.

Champion said cellphone records show that Chambers and Tellis - who had met about two weeks before her death and had become friends - were together twice on the day she was burned.

Daniel Cole, the Director of Emergency Operations in the county, wrote a report saying he arrived on the roadside where Chambers' vehicle was ablaze to find her covered in blankets on the ground with first responders.

"He insisted this is not something he would do", Palmer said.

Her body was covered with soot and blisters and her hair was singed.

"The inside of her mouth was just charred black", Haley said. In a separate allegation, authorities in Louisiana claim he stabbed to death 34-year-old Meing-Chen Hsiao in 2015.

Tellis has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of Jessica Chambers. A trial date in Louisiana is pending the outcome of his trial in Mississippi.

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