Firefighters Testify Jessica Chambers Said 'Eric' Set Her on Fire

Cheryl Sanders
October 12, 2017

Chambers later left home, and then called Daugherty to say she was getting something to eat.

Daniel Cole affirmed Wednesday about the demise of 19-year-old Jessica Chambers at the capital murder trial of the man blamed for killing her on December 6, 2014. Her hair was, you know, lovely blonde. Police discovered Chambers with burns covering 98 percent of her body. Champion said that Chambers' esophagus was so badly burnt that this distorted her speech.

In December 2014, Chambers was discovered beside her burning auto on a rural Panola County road with severe burns to 98 percent to her body.

Among Tuesday's five witnesses was Cole Haley, a former volunteer fire chief and one of the first responders who found Jessica burning. She died four hours later at a Memphis hospital.


Tellis faces another murder indictment in Louisiana, where he's accused in the torture death of Meing-Chen Hsiao, a 34-year-old Taiwanese graduate student at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Chambers and her killer may have had sex in the auto, according to the prosecutor's opening arguments, with the killer torching the vehicle after, believing she died when he suffocated her. Firefighters who reported to where Chamber's auto was found burning had said that she told them "Eric" was responsible. As with Haley, Palmer made him read his own report, in which he wrote that the victim said Eric set her on fire, and that she didn't know this man's name. "I was face to face with her and you could barely understand her".

"She was a contender". She was trying to answer questions.

The night a 19-year-old MS woman was burned to death, she and her killer had sex in her auto and he thought he had suffocated her before he torched her vehicle with her inside, a prosecutor said Tuesday in an opening statement, presenting his theory of what led to the gruesome slaying.


Some became emotional on the stand describing Jessica Chambers' appearance. She said 'Eric did this to me.' ...

Champion acknowledged Chambers gave a name to first responders that does not match Tellis', but said by the end of the trial, the evidence "will change your mind, I can promise you". Champion argued that surveillance footage and cell phone records shown during the trial would establish the location of Chambers and Tellis over the course of that day.

The horrendous conditions encompassing Chambers' passing accumulated national consideration.

Jury members will be sequestered in Batesville once the trial begins. "A lot of noise", Cole said in court Wednesday, adding the scene was "a madhouse".


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