The Latest: Prosecutor unsure on third trial in burning case

Quinton Tellis and defense attorney Darla Palmer hug after the judge declared a mistrial during the seventh day of Tellis' retrial of Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, in Batesville, Miss. The jury could not reach a unanimous decision which resulted in a mistrial.(Brad Vest/The Commercial Appeal via AP)

BATESVILLE, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on a mistrial in the case of a Mississippi woman burned to death (all times local):

5 p.m.

A Mississippi prosecutor says he isn’t sure yet whether he will seek to try a man a third time on charges that he set a woman on fire in 2014.

Panola County District Attorney John Champion told reporters Monday that Quinton Tellis will be sent to Louisiana to face charges there after a second mistrial on capital murder charges in north Mississippi.

A judge declared the mistrial Monday after jurors told him they were deadlocked. Jurors also couldn’t reach a verdict in Tellis’ first trial last year.

In Louisiana, the 29-year-old Tellis has been indicted on a murder charge in the stabbing death of Meing-Chen Hsiao, a Taiwanese former graduate student, in the city of Monroe. Tellis has pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of Hsiao’s debit card.

Defense attorney Darla Palmer tells reporters that the second trial “feels like a ‘not guilty’ to me.”


3:45 p.m.

A Mississippi judge has declared a second mistrial in the capital murder case of a man accused of setting a woman on fire in 2014. Deadlocked jurors said they couldn’t reach a verdict.

Panola County Circuit Judge Gerald Chatham declared the mistrial Monday in the trial of Quinton Tellis, after jurors deliberated for two days.

It’s the second mistrial; a jury also was unable to reach a verdict in Tellis’ first trial last year.

Tellis was accused of setting Jessica Chambers ablaze in 2014.

As in the first trial, jurors had to choose between evidence that prosecutors said linked Tellis to Chambers’ death and testimony by emergency workers that they heard a dying Chambers say someone named Eric attacked her.


2:30 p.m.

Mississippi jurors continue to deliberate in the case of a man accused of setting a woman on fire in 2014.

Jurors met for nearly five hours on Sunday and then resumed deliberations on Monday in the capital murder retrial of Quinton Tellis, accused in the burning death of Jessica Chambers.

Jurors couldn’t reach a verdict in Tellis’ first trial last year.

Panola County Circuit Judge Gerald Chatham is admonishing jurors to continue their discussions after jurors said on Monday they hadn’t reached a verdict. Jurors are also reviewing surveillance video and phone records that prosecutors argued link Tellis to Chambers’ death.

The case, tried in Batesville, went to jurors Sunday following six days of testimony.

Tellis faces another murder indictment in Louisiana in the death of Meing-Chen Hsiao in Monroe.

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