A defense attorney representing the Mississippi man charged in the burning death of Jessica Chambers filed a motion accusing a district attorney of coercing a possible witness to provide false testimony in the 2017 trial that ended with a hung jury.
LocalMemphis.com reports that Darla Palmer accused District Attorney John Champion of pressuring Jalen Asir Matthews Caudle to testify that Quinton Tellis went by “Eric.” After she was burned alive, Jessica remained conscious long enough to tell first responders that someone named “Eric” –or possibly “Derek” – did this to her, according to a Buzzfeed report on the case. Investigators have extensively searched for a man by either of those names who may have known Jessica, but have not found anyone who could be a person of interest.
Caudle, who is charged with capital murder in an unrelated case, reportedly met Tellis while they were in jail. According to the local report, Palmer claims Champion met with Caudle in secret, and intimidated the inmate into saying that Tellis was sometimes called “Eric” — in exchange for getting help from prosecutors on for his own case.
Watch the D.A.’s testimony now: