Jessica Chambers was burned alive on a rural road in Courtland, Mississippi, in December of 2014. The horrific murder rocked the nation as the local sheriff’s department and FBI seemed to be unable to pinpoint any suspects in the gang-ridden small town. With authorities claiming that no one would talk, it seemed that Jessica Chambers’ murder case may go unsolved. However, Jessica’s family received renewed hope in December, when police used information gained from the murder investigation to perform “Operation Bite Back,” in which 17 people, many suspected gang members, were arrested on a variety of charges. Though the police noted that none of the men in custody were suspected of the murder, they did note that someone in custody likely had information about the Jessica Chambers’ burning death. Finally, after 14 months of investigation, police had identified and arrested a murder suspect in the horrific case. Quinton “Go Hard” Tellis was arrested on suspicion of murder, but it appears that Jessica Chambers isn’t the dead woman that has been linked to the suspected gang member.
The Clarion-Ledger reports that prior to being indicted on charges related to the burning death of Mississippi teen Jessica Chambers, Tellis had been charged with crimes connected to the stabbing death of Meing-Chen Hsiao, 34, of Taiwan. Reports indicated that Hsiao was stabbed to death in her apartment in a grisly murder before having her body dumped. The young woman from Taiwan was missing for over a week before authorities found her body. It was noted that the murder “seemed personal,” as it was exceptionally grisly. Tellis was arrested after it was discovered he was using Hsiao’s credit cards.
The Ledger reports that Tellis allegedly used a Chase Bank debit card belonging to Hsiao on Aug. 7 at around 11 p.m. This was the day before the young woman’s body would be found. He initially made a small transaction of only $.07. However, on August 18, 10 days after the body was discovered, Tellis again used the card to withdraw $500, another withdrawal for $500 was made a few hours later. Tellis admitted to police that he used the credit card after surveillance footage from the ATM captured him on camera making the withdrawal. However, police were not able to get enough evidence to charge Tellis with murder.
According to Tellis’ Facebook page, he married his fiancée on or around Aug. 8, the day Hsiao’s body was found. It would be 10 days after his marriage that he would withdraw $1,000 from Hsiao’s account.
Though Tellis made it away from the Hsiao case without murder charges, he was not so lucky when it came to the burning death of Jessica Chambers. Like the Hsiao murder, police noted that Chambers’ murder was very “personal” in nature, as the teen was burned alive on a rural road. Initial reports indicated that lighter fluid or similiar may have been poured down her nose and mouth, but those claims were later refuted. Whether lighter fluid was used or not, Jessica received burns over 98 percent of her body and was found stumbling along the rural road with her entire body burned except for the bottoms of her feet. The teen was able to whisper a few words to first responders that allegedly included the name of her murderer. However, due to the nature of her injury, the words could not fully be understood. As a result, no murder arrests would be made for 14 months.
Rumors swirled that the murder was likely gang-related, as Panola County, Mississippi, where the murder took place, was rife with gang activity. However, no one in the small town seemed to know anything about the murder, or if they did, they refused to speak. The FBI got involved with the case, and eventually Tellis was identified as a potential suspect. The Clarion-Ledger reports that Jessica Chambers may have had a relationship with Tellis leading up to her death, but would not elaborate.
What is known about Tellis, if you look at his Facebook page, is that he was likely a member of the Vice Lords gang. In numerous photos, Tellis can be seen throwing up the Vice Lord gang sign, and is frequently seen in the Vice Lord color (red). He also has a “VL” tattoo on his arm, along with numerous five-pointed stars, which are also a symbol used by the Vice Lords. He gives shout outs to Vice Lord leader Willie Lloyd, making it seem pretty clear cut that Tellis was a Vice Lords member, or had some sort of affiliation with the gang.
Despite his establishment in the gang, the Vice Lords have come forward to say that they had nothing to do with Jessica Chambers’ murder, and the police agree. In a press conference held regarding the indictment of Quinton Tellis for the capital murder of Jessica Chambers, authorities note that they cannot go into details on the evidence, but that the case is solid.
What do you think about the indictment of a suspect in the Jessica Chambers’ murder?