Man accused of fatally burning MS woman alive on trial

WATCH LIVE Opening Statements Begin In Murder Trial Of Man Charged With Killing Jessica Chambers

The trial proceedings are being livestreamed by WMC-TV, news partner of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

Tellis was indicted in Chambers' death in February 2016.

Tellis faces life without the possibility of parole if convicted of killing Chambers. He also faces a murder indictment in Louisiana, where he is accused in the torture death of another young woman. The jury was transported north to Batesville, where it will be sequestered throughout the trial.

It was hard to make out the words of a badly burned Jessica Chambers as she lay dying, but multiple first responders testified Wednesday that it sounded like she said Eric was her killer.

Champion acknowledged Tuesday that that's not the name of the man he's prosecuting, but told jurors he believed evidence in the case would "change your mind".

Chambers was so severely burned she may have had difficulty speaking, Champion said, offering a possible explanation for why first responders heard her say "Eric" or "Derek".

After authorities found 19-year-old Jessica Chambers burning alive almost three years ago on a back-road in Courtland, Mississippi, she told them she'd been set on fire by someone named "Eric" or "Derek" - or, at least, that's what it sounded like she said. He also said that Mr Tellis had repeatedly asked Chambers for sex, and she had told him no, according to Fox news.

"She had her arms out, saying, 'Help me, help me, help me, '" Haley testified Tuesday.

The field trip will given jurors, from Pike County, the chance to see first-hand the sites Champion said will be tied together by the phone data. She had burns over 98 percent of her body. "And thought he had killed her and that he had to get her away from his house". "Her hair was seared ... ash all around her nose and her mouth ... rankling everywhere on her body", Cole, executive of crisis operations for Panola County, told legal hearers.

Most of Chambers' clothes had been burned off. Wednesday, she asked them to read their statements, many of which emphasize Chambers' accusation that Eric was responsible for setting her on fire. She died the next day.

Tellis then drove Chambers's auto with her inside it to the back road, drove the vehicle to his sister's house nearby, jumped in his sister's auto, stopped to pick up gasoline from a shed at his house and torched Chambers' vehicle and her, Champion said. Cole said he asked her, "Who did this?"

First responders David Gammel and Sandra Hailey both also testified to hearing the name 'Eric, ' though none were certain.

Cell phone evidence is expected to be introduced that Tellis and Chambers exchanged communication on the last day of Chambers' life. The keys had a tag on them from the business of Jessica Chambers' father, Ben Chambers.

Chambers then picked up Tellis about at 5.30pm (local time) and they went to a fast food restaurant, Champion said.

Tyner called police with the information and King showed authorities where he found the keychain.

Related News: