HERNANDO, Miss– Quinton Tellis, the man charged with the burning death of Jessica Chambers of Courtland pleaded not guilty Friday morning, according to District Attorney John Champion.
Champion said this is the start of a formal process.
“Nine times out of 10, you can expect a not guilty plea in a case like this,” said Champion. “It’s just part of it. Now we prepare for trial.”
While proceedings are scheduled for September, Champion said the case is more likely to take longer than that to resolve.
“I’m estimating early spring or late spring for trial,” said Champion. “If I had my best guess. Now we have to prepare the case, and send his file to the defenders.”
Tellis is charged with capital murder for the death of Jessica Chambers, who was found burning alive on the side of the road in Courtland in December 2014. He was formally charged in February, while in custody in Louisiana.
There, Tellis had just pleaded guilty to charges of stealing the debit card of Tawainese exchange student Ming-Chen Hsaio at the time he was charged for Chambers’ death. His charges were upgraded to murder in that case two weeks ago, but will not return to face those charges for the next several months.
“He (Tellis) will remain in our custody until the case is complete,” said Champion.
Capital murder charges in Mississippi could carry the death penalty. News Mississippi will continue to follow this case through court.