The man accused of killing a Courtland teenager by allegedly dousing her with a flammable substance and setting her ablaze languishes in a Louisiana jail, awaiting extradition back to Mississippi.
"It could be tomorrow or it could be the end of the year," District Attorney John Champion told the DeSoto Times-Tribune on Wednesday of plans to send Quinton Tellis, 27, back to Mississippi to stand trial for the death of 19-year-old Jessica Chambers.
"We just don't know," Champion said. "It's in the hands of the Louisiana justice system."
Tellis was indicted by a Panola County grand jury in February in the Chambers death.
The case was the subject of nationwide and even worldwide attention due to the particularly heinous nature of the crime.
A jury trial in Ouachita Parish, La., which began Thursday considered charges against Tellis in another case, one in which the Courtland man is charged with the possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
In that separate criminal matter, Tellis has also pled guilty to one count of unauthorized use of a debit or access card.
Under the plea arrangement, Tellis was charged as an habitual offender, which effectively doubles the maximum penalty for his charge from having to serve five years to 10 years of hard labor, a sentence which would run concurrently with any other subsequent sentence.
In the Chambers case, Tellis has admitted to investigators that he was the last person to see her alive but he has not claimed responsibility for her death.
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at email@example.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.