MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - There were new revelations Wednesday in a Panola County courtroom on the second day of testimony in the Jessica Chambers murder trial. Chambers's accused killer, 29-year-old Quinton Tellis, is being retried after a hung jury last year.
So far, 10 of the more than 20 witnesses have testified Jessica Chambers told them a person named 'Eric or Derrick' set her on fire before she died. But additional testimony included a detail never mentioned in court until now.
There were different witnesses but similar answers from first responders on the second day of testimony.
Tellis is charged with burning the 19-year-old alive in her car on a Courtland, Mississippi, road in December 2014.
Several paramedics assisted and questioned Chambers.
“CD1 asked, 'Do you know who did this?' she said 'Eric',” testified paramedic David Gammel.
"(What was that name?) Eric”, testified paramedic Bradley Dixon.
“(Do you remember questions being asked of her). Yes sir, they asked her multiple times who did this to her. (Alright, do you remember what her response was). Yes sir. It was Erick of Derrick or something to that effect,” testified paramedic Joshua Perkins.
Unlike last year's first trial of Tellis, Wednesday two Panola County sheriff's deputies testified Chambers told them another detail before being airlifted the night of the crime.
“The best I could understand was ‘black male’, testified Deputy Darryl House.
“I got back in the ambulance and I said, 'Jessica, was he white or black' and she said 'black',” testified Deputy Chuck Tucker.
Forensic pathologist Doctor Erin Barnhart laid out where she believed Chambers was positioned in the car, based on the areas of her body spared from significant burns.
"The most likely scenario based on that pattern is that she was seated,” testified Dr. Barnhart.
Late Wednesday afternoon, an ATF investigator testified he found gasoline in part of a burned bra at the crime scene. That followed testimony from some of Tellis’ distant relatives, who explained a fire call at one of their homes the night Chambers was found.
Another woman testified of giving a man a ride that night but wasn’t asked and didn’t identify that person as Tellis in the courtroom.
If convicted, Tellis faces life in prison without parole.
A total of 40 or so witnesses could be called during this retrial, which is expected to last another week. Thursday, jurors are expected to travel to different places of interest related to the crime.