by: Leah Beth Bolton Updated:
The jury has been selected in the Jessica Chambers murder trial. Opening statements will begin Tuesday, October 10th in Panola County, Mississippi. The 19-year-old was burned alive on a back road in Panola County in December 2014.
Quinton Tellis is charged with capital murder in the commission of another crime, third-degree arson. Due to three previous felony charges, the indictment charged Tellis as a habitual offender.
A special, 21-person grand jury indicted him in February 2016, following a nearly 14-month investigation.
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Tellis was serving time in Ouachita Parish Jail in Monroe, Louisiana, at the time of the indictment, where he was being held on charges connected to the brutal stabbing death of 34-year-old Meing-Chen "Mandy" Hsiao.
Hsiao was an exchange student from Taiwan. Tellis pleaded guilty to the unauthorized use of her credit card and was sentenced to 10 years in May 2016. He was later charged in her death as well, but has yet to stand trial.
Tellis was extradited to Mississippi in July 2016, where he has been awaiting trial in the DeSoto County Jail.
In December 2015, 17 people were arrested during an FBI roundup called "Operation Bite Back." None of the arrests were tied to Chambers' murder, but did reveal several gang ties and drug rings in the county.
Jurors were chosen in Pike County and bused nearly 200 miles to Batesville, where they will be sequestered for the trial. It is expected to last up to two weeks. More than 40 witnesses, including the firefighters and paramedics who spoke to Chambers on the scene of the fire, are expected to testify.
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