Opening statements were made Tuesday in the capital murder trial of 28-year-old Quinton Tellis, who was wiping tears away from his eyes after making eye contact with his family in the courtroom. Tellis has pleaded not guilty to the murder. Prosecutors claim he set Jessica Chambers on fire, and is responsible for her death.
John Champion, district attorney told the packed courtroom in Batesville, Mississippi that Chambers “was a beautiful, blonde-haired 19-year-old” from Courtland, a tiny town not far from Batesville. He alleged that Tellis took her young life away from her. He pointed to DNA and circumstantial evidence, cell phone data, as well as surveillance footage from a gas station to back up that claim. Chambers’ car keys were near her burnt car. Tellis’ DNA was found on that set of keys, Champion said. He said the cell phone data puts the two together right before Jessica was set on
Casey Anthony’s attorney Cheney Mason theorized last week that her former client—who was acquitted in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, six years ago—“blacked out” during the death.
“I believe that Casey’s mind, in some dimension, I guess the common word would say ‘snapped.’ She didn’t go crazy by any means — but blackout — completely a blackout — of what went on and what happened,” Mason told LawNewz Network host Jesse Weber (believe it or not, a website by the name of “LawNewz” is a legitimate source, founded by ABC News legal affairs anchor Dan Abrams).
Mason was responding to comments by Anthony earlier this year to the AP that “I’m still not even certain as I stand here today sure about what happened.”