• Quinton Tellis pleads 'not guilty' in murder of Jessica Chambers

    By: Tom Dees


    Quinton Tellis has entered a not guilty plea in the murder of Panola County teen Jessica Chambers. 

    Tellis made his first court appearance on Friday. District Attorney John Champion told FOX13 this is just the first very small step in the case, and it is part of what will be a very long process.

    Attorney Darla Palmer entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of her client, Quinton Tellis, who is accused of killing Jessica Chambers.

    After the hearing, District Attorney John Champion spoke to FOX13 about finally having this day in court.

    “The huge numbers hours that we put in on this, and now knowing that the process is beginning, it’s certainly satisfying,” Champion said.

    From the very beginning, Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby has said this case is personal.

    "Well sure it is. It's a young girl, 19, and still full of life,” Sheriff Darby said. “Yes. It is personal." Darby said.

    Quinto Tellis’ family members told FOX13 they didn't want to talk, and neither did his attorneys.

    We also watched as Jessica Chambers’ family members left the courtroom in silence. They were advised not to speak to the media by the District Attorney.

    "It's just part of the way I do things. I’m gonna dot every ‘I’ and cross every ‘T,’" Champion said.

    As Tellis was placed in a DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office car, he appeared to bow in prayer several times. It could be nine months to a year before he goes to trial. .

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