Update: The jury returned from their deliberations without a unanimous decision. With the jury split, Judge Gerald Chatham declared a mistrial.
The 12-person jury was reportedly split 6-6 on the verdict. Tellis was originally tired on Capital Murder charges and was re-tried on a lesser charge. It will now be up to the DA if they will attempt to try Tellis for a third time.
Jury deliberations have begun in the Jessica Chambers murder trial.
After six days worth of testimony was heard in the case, the jury deliberated for nearly five hours yesterday, and they’ll continue today.
The jury is tasked with weighing the evidence against the defendant, Quntion Tellis, who is accused of setting Chambers on fire in December of 2014.
Much like the original trial that ended with a hung jury, much of the testimony focused on if Chambers was able to clearly state the name of a suspect on the night of her murder due to her severe burns.
The defense argues that Chambers’ possible identification of “Eric” or “Derrick” shows that Tellis is not the suspect, while the prosecution has brought witnesses to the stand that claim she wouldn’t have been able to speak clearly.
A new piece of testimony was presented during the retrial as a woman that picked up a hitchhiker near the scene on the night of the murder came forward.
Sherry Flowers testified that she picked up “a black male appearing to be about 20-years-old and having a small to medium build” on the night of Chambers’ murder. She did not identify Tellis as the man she picked up, but she cannot remember who the man was.
Tellis is 5’9 and he was 26-years-old in 2014.
Flowers reportedly stated that she picked up the unidentified hitchhiker near the location where a sheriff stated that Chambers’ keys were found days after her death. The defense and the prosecution disagreed on the timing of the hitchhiker being picked up.
Tellis’ original trial ended with a hung jury after nearly 10 hours of deliberation back in October 2017.