Firefighters: Burned woman said 'Eric' set her on fire

Firefighters: Burned woman said 'Eric' set her on fire

Firefighters: Burned woman said 'Eric' set her on fire

She replied, "Eric, '" Davis testified on the second day of the trial in in Batesville, Mississippi.

After authorities found 19-year-old Jessica Chambers burning alive almost three years ago on a back-road in Courtland, Mississippi, she told them she'd been set on fire by someone named "Eric" or "Derek" - or, at least, that's what it sounded like she said.

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

If convicted, Tellis faces life in prison without parole. Security is tight - the jury is being sequestered and spectators are being screened through metal detectors before entering the courtroom.

Quinton Tellis (29) has been accused of killing Jessica Chambers on December 6 2014. She died hours later at a Memphis hospital.

In her own opening statements, however, Tellis' defense attorney Darla Palmer said he could not have been the person responsible because he was at a store purchasing a pre-paid debit card at the time of the attack, according to Fox News.

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"I asked who did this to you". First responders testified Chambers didn't give a last name and wouldn't answer much else, saying anything they asked her she would only respond by saying she was cold.

Tellis then drove Chambers' vehicle with her inside it to the back road, ran to his sister's house nearby, jumped in his sisters' auto, stopped to pick up gasoline from a shed at his house and torched Chambers' vehicle and her, Champion said.

The youngster, who had been soaked with a combustible fluid and set on fire, was first found rising up out of the forested areas close to her consuming auto wearing just her clothing. Chambers later left home, and then called Daugherty to say she was getting something to eat.

Lisa said she believes "somebody was with" her daughter during their phone conversation, according to local TV station WMC.

Tellis later acknowledged they were together in the evening, saying he met her to sell her marijuana and had sex with her in her vehicle, Champion said.

He claimed to have been buying a pre-paid debit card at the time Chambers was killed, but prosecutors believe he intentionally went to the store after setting the woman and her vehicle on fire to create an alibi for himself, The Clarion-Ledger reported. With that in mind, he said that jurors would see photos of her esophagus, thus proving this point.

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"She didn't say any other name", Palmer said. Champion said she could have been saying "Tellis", but the damage done to her throat made it sound different.

Palmer also stressed the apparent discrepancy of Jessica's description of her killer.

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

Authorities analyzed over 20,000 telephone numbers as part of the investigation and 40 people are listed in court documents as potential witnesses in the trial, WREG reported.

Tellis was indicted in Chambers' death in February 2016. A trial date in Louisiana is pending the outcome of his trial in Mississippi.

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