A hearing is underway in the Jessica Chambers murder case in a Mississippi courtroom regarding possible foul play by the District Attorney. Prosecutors claim that Quinton Verdell Tellis killed Chambers by setting her car on fire in 2014, but a jury could not reach a decision in the case and Tellis’ 2017 trial ended in a mistrial. A retrial is scheduled for September, but Tellis’ defense attorney is now claiming misconduct on the part of Panola County District Attorney John Champion.
The defense claimed that Tellis was not responsible for Chambers’ death, noting that witnesses said Chambers told them that someone named “Eric” or “Derek” did it before she died of her injuries. Prosecutors argued that Chambers’ speech was affected by her condition, and that “Eric” really meant “Tellis.”
Tellis’ attorney Darla Palmer claims that Champion worked to get false testimony from witness Jalen Asir Matthews Caudle, who was another one of Palmer’s clients. Caudle claims that Champion tried to “guide” him into saying that Tellis told him Chambers would call him “Eric.” Palmer claims that she never gave permission for Champion to meet with her Caudle, who became a client of hers after he met Tellis in jail and Tellis recommended her.
“It’s clear to me these are violations of what our rules are and just in terms of what a lawyer should stand for in terms of honesty and integrity and justice,” Palmer said.
Palmer now wants Champion thrown off the case, and for the trial to be delayed.
[Image via Law & Crime Network screengrab]