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Agent: Man charged with setting woman on fire offered alibi

A Person charged with burning to loss of life a Mississippi lady instructed an FBI agent he was miles away buying a debit card when she was once set on Hearth.

The agent, Dustin Blount, testified Thursday in the trial of Quinton Tellis in Batesville, Mississippi. Tellis has pleaded now not responsible to killing 19-12 months-old Jessica Chambers in December 2014.

Prosecutors say Tellis concept he suffocated Chambers during intercourse in her car, and then used gasoline to set her and the vehicle ablaze along a highway in Courtland.

Blount mentioned Tellis informed him throughout an interview that he was once returning to his Courtland house from shopping for the card in Batesville when he noticed autos with emergency lights. He Additionally mentioned Tellis mentioned having intercourse with Chambers once, However he didn’t point out an actual date.

Tellis, who was pals with Chambers, may obtain lifestyles in prison without parole if convicted of capital murder at trial in Batesville, about 50 miles (Eighty kilometers) south of Memphis. A firefighter has testified a severely-burned Chambers gave the impression of a zombie as she walked down the highway close to her burning automobile the night of Dec. 6, 2014. She died hours later at a Memphis clinic.

His legal professional says he is falsely accused. Firefighters who handled Chambers testified they heard her say anyone named Eric or Derek set her on Fireplace. Prosecutors say she may have been trying to say Tellis, However harm to her mouth and throat failed to allow her to speak clearly.

Agent Blount mentioned a photograph taken from a surveillance video from a Fred’s pharmacy shows Tellis, who had a mud bike, buying a pre-paid debit card in Batesville, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the tree-lined road embankment in Courtland the place her automobile was once discovered. The photograph had a time stamp of Eight:26 p.m.

Authorities say Chambers was once found on the street by means of a passing motorist shortly after 8 p.m. Prosecutors contend Tellis, 29, has lied about his whereabouts that night. Blount said Tellis instructed him he discovered about Chambers’ state of affairs from somebody at a comfort store positioned simply steps from his house.

However during questioning through Protection attorney Alton Peterson, Blount acknowledged he did not try to ascertain the time stamp was once accurate.

Blount Additionally said Tellis instructed him Eleven days after she was found burned that he erased all communications with Chambers from his cell phone.

Also Thursday, prosecutors used witness testimony from a burn physician and an investigator to lend a hand discredit the Protection’s idea that somebody named Eric or Derek could have burned Chambers. Dr. William Hickerson oversaw Chambers’ remedy on the sanatorium. He stated she suffered a lot damage to her mouth, throat and chest that she would have had trouble certainly saying words.

Chambers had 3rd-stage burns on most of her body, Hickerson mentioned. Soot was once found on her tongue and in the back of her throat, and her lips didn’t work correctly, the physician stated.

Pointing at image photos of a burned Chambers displayed for the jury, Hickerson mentioned the scorched skin on her chest was tight like leather-based and she or he may now not discuss correctly on account of lack of air.

“You can’t enunciate any of these phrases that you need to assert” with such severe burns, Hickerson said.

Protection lawyer Darla Palmer challenged Hickerson, who stated that Chambers’ injuries may have worsened from the time she spoke with firefighters to when she arrived on the health facility two hours after she used to be discovered. Hickerson Also stated he was now not at the scene and did not hear Chambers speak there.

Maj. Barry Thompson of the Panola County Sheriff’s Division testified investigators interviewed about 15 folks named Eric or Derek and none had been recognized as suspects.

Testimony is set to proceed Friday, the fourth day of the trial.

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