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The capital murder trial has begun for the Mississippi man accused of burning a teenager to death.

Quinton Verdell Tellis, 29, is accused of killing Jessica Chambers, 19, after setting a car on fire with the victim inside. Police discovered Chambers with burns covering 98 percent of her body. She later died in the hospital.


Chambers and her killer may have had sex in the car, according to the prosecutor’s opening arguments, with the killer torching the car after, believing she died when he suffocated her. There are conflicting reports over whether or not Chambers named her aggressor before she passed. At least eight first responders on the scene recalled her whispering “Eric” or “Derek.” Tellis has not admitted to killing the victim.

Tellis’ criminal history extends well beyond the alleged 2014 burning. In 2016, he was charged with the murder of a woman in Louisiana. Tells repeatedly stabbed Meing-Chen Hsiao, 34, to death before taking her credit card and using it to make unlawful purchases. Prior to the charge, he was convicted for two burglaries and fleeing conviction.

If convicted of the Chambers murder, Tellis would spend the rest of his life in prison.

RELATED: Father of missing newborn found in duffel bag charged with her murder

Trial begins for alleged murderer accused of burning his victim alive AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, AP Photo/Adrian Sainz
Zuri Davis About the author:
Zuri Davis is a media writer for Rare. Follow her on Twitter @RiEleDavis.
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