Mistrial declared in burning death trial

(WMC/NBC News) A Mississippi judge has declared a mistrial in the trial of Quinton Tellis, the man accused in the 2014 murder of 19-year-old Jessica Chambers.

The jury first returned a verdict at 1:40 p.m. The judge asked the jury if the verdict was unanimous, to which the jury replied, ‘Yes.’ But, one juror spoke up and said the verdict was not unanimous.

Two more attempts to reach a verdict also failed.

Chambers was found still alive but badly burned after she was set on fire and dumped along a roadside. Eight first responders testified that she told them that “Eric set me on fire.”

During the trial prosecutors argued those witnesses were mistaken in what they’d heard.

“When the first responders got to Jessica, they didn’t hear the name Quinton,” district attorney John Champion said. “They heard what they thought was Eric.”

Champion went on to point out that Chambers was so badly injured the first responders must have misunderstood what the 19-year-old said.

After the mistrial, Champion vowed to try the case again.

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