HERNANDO, Mississippi (AP) — Authorities say the man wanted in the 2014 burning death of a woman is back in Mississippi.
Panola County District Attorney John Champion tells local media outlets 27-year-old Quinton Tellis, charged with capital murder in the 2014 burning death of 19-year-old Jessica Chambers, was returned to Mississippi on Thursday.
Champion said Tellis was picked up from Louisiana authorities Thursday morning and was in the DeSoto County Jail in Hernando as of about 6:15 p.m.
The return, faster than expected, comes after Tellis pleaded guilty in May to unauthorized use of a debit card in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. The card belonged to a slain Monroe, Louisiana, woman. Tellis was not charged in her death.
Champion said the first step after Tellis’ return will be an arraignment, expected July 5 in Panola County.
“That’ll be the only court appearance until motions are filed,” Champion said. “Realistically, it will probably be the spring before it goes to trial.”
Champion said the discovery documents prosecutors accumulated during a 16-month investigation, which will be turned over to defense before trial, will “fill a table.”
Tellis is represented by two Jackson attorneys.
Tellis was indicted by a Panola County grand jury and charged in February. He was charged as a habitual offender because of two previous burglary convictions and a felony fleeing conviction.
He grew up in Courtland, in Panola County, with Chambers and knew her before moving to Louisiana in 2015, authorities said.
Charging him with Chambers’ death ended a lengthy investigation into the grisly burning death of the 19-year-old, who died at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis hours after being found near her burned-out vehicle on a road not far from home.