Mistrial: Jury fails to reach unanimous verdict in Mississippi burning death

MISSISSIPPI — UPDATE: Mississippi jury fails to reach unanimous verdict in trial of man accused of burning a woman to death; mistrial declared

Spectators were told to expect a verdict in the trial of a Mississippi man charged with burning a woman to death, but jurors did not reach a unanimous agreement.

Jurors initially said they found Quinton Tellis not guilty of capital murder in the death of 19-year-old Jessica Chambers. However, when jurors were polled individually, some said that they found the defendant “guilty.”

Circuit Judge Gerald Chatham told the jury to go back for further deliberations. He repeated to them that their verdict must be unanimous, or they must tell him if they are unable to reach agreement.

Defense attorneys argued the wrong man is on trial.

The 29-year-old Tellis faces up to life in prison without parole if convicted.

Emergency responders said Chambers looked like a “zombie” with burned skin and hair when they found her wandering near a road in Courtland, Mississippi, on Dec. 6, 2014.