Police in Mississippi reportedly pursued an individual on a motorcycle outside the Panola County Courthouse where Quinton Tellis is facing a jury for the second time for the brutal murder of 19-year-old Jessica Chambers.
Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby confirmed to the Commercial Appeal that local police pursued a person on a motorcycle who was seen “watching” a witness who testified at the proceedings on Wednesday, raising concerns about possible witness intimidation.
According to the report, the individual was seen watching Sherry Rena Flowers as she left the courthouse late Wednesday, after providing new testimony that may have placed Tellis at the scene of Jessica’s murder.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Flowers said she picked up a young black male in her car on the night of December 6, 2014, the same night that Chambers was found severely burned and clinging to life. She reportedly picked up the hitchhiker near the scene where first responders found Jessica near her burning car.
Flowers did not remember many specifics about the young man and could not identify him. She testified that she and the man spoke little after he flagged her down for a ride, telling her that he needed a ride to his aunt Julia Chambers’s home because it was on fire. Julia Chambers is no relation to Jessica Chambers, though she is a distant relative of Quinton Tellis; not his aunt,
Julia Chambers also took the stand to confirm firefighters had reported to her home that night following an incident with her microwave, but said that Quinton Tellis was not at her home that night and that she had not been in contact him for quite a while before that night.
Police reportedly apprehended the individual on the motorcycle at a “traffic stop” an unknown distance away from the courthouse.
A subsequent report in Commercial Appeal cited Sheriff Darby as saying that police no longer believed that the individual was trying to intimidate Flowers, but that the person is known to law enforcement.
According to that report, court officers removed “a couple” of people from the courtroom on Wednesday, because they were making gestures. It is not know who the people were or what the gestures meant.
[Feature image: Alton Peterson, left, and Darla Palmer, right, confer in front of defendant Quinton Tellis. Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal via AP, Pool]