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RECAP: Jessica Chambers Trial Day 5


(When the Jessica Chambers trial is in session we will be airing the testimony live in the player above. When the trial is on break, we will be providing legal analysis)

Melissa Jones, our freelance producer, is providing these live updates from the courthouse in Mississippi. Please refresh your browser to make sure you are seeing the latest details.

Update 1:09 pm ET:

The cross examination of Tim Douglas began with defense attorney Alton Peterson.

Douglas testified that when he arrived on the crime scene on Dec 7 there were still search and rescue people on the scene searching for evidence. Daniel Cole was in charge of the scene at that time. No additional evidence was brought forth at that time though he could be mistaken.  Douglas said he did not make any note of evidence being produced other than the keys a few days later.

When asked about whether or not the scene was still taped off Douglas said that it was and the fire had been completely extinguished. Nothing was smoldering.Douglas was mostly interested in the location of where the car had been located and firetrucks etc

When asked if Douglas had any concerns Douglas hesitated as if he wanted to pick his words correctly.  He answered that he felt there hadn’t been enough photographs taken the night of the fire.

Douglas then testified about the procedures law enforcement take to gather phone records.

“We bothered the snot out of them,” Douglas said in reference to getting the phone records in a timely fashion from Verizon.  Douglas said they issued an emergency order to Verizon which only gives the previous 24 hours prior to her phone going dead.

Then Douglas went over with who he interviewed. Douglas said he asked a fireman (Seth cook) what Jessica said that night. Douglas said Cook thought he her Jessica say her last name as YALMBERS.

“YES,” Douglas said.

Yes, she made a dying declaration. By looking at the photos, he could not have imagined the amount of pain she was in. Douglas said absolutely whatever she said would legally be considered a dying declaration adding “I have never seen a homicide victim in that bad of shape.”

“Have you ever known of an instance of a victim giving a false dying declaration?” Peterson asked.

I don’t believe I have answered Douglas.

“Did any of these first responders say Quentin or quin or qt or anything else at that time or any other time?” Peterson asked.

No answered Douglas.

Douglas then went on to say several of these young men said they thought that’s what they were hearing and some said maybe they just heard someone else saying those names.

“I was concerned about their state of mind also. Their perception,” Douglas said referring to what those first responders must have thought when they first saw Jessica walking down the road.

Douglas said some of the responders told him they could barely hear her while others were saying her speech was normal. This concerned Douglas.They (first responders) were involved in a traumatic event Douglas said, he told them to slow down, think about what you heard or saw and go home and write your report.

“We are talking about boys coming the parts house, the farm house. They work on the farm 5 days a week and volunteer on the fire department. They weren’t professionally trained,” he said.

“Are you telling this jury that it takes a special type of training to just write down what you saw?” Peterson asked.

Douglas testified that he first spoke to Tellis on the 10th but that it was not recorded.

“At one point did the interviews start to expand beyond the Courtland/Batesville area?” the defense attorney asked.

He said he contacted the Fusion Center and got a list of every Eric, Derrick in Panola County.  He couldn’t recall how many names. More than 5 but less than a 100 but he didn’t know exactly know how many

“Does the name Derrick Holmes mean anything to you?” the defense attorney asked.

“Yes,” Douglas answered. “I interviewed him several times his family was sick.of me.”

“Holmes was a registered sex offender is he not?” the defense attorney asked.

“How do you know he was at home ‘rubbing his mother’s feet;” the defense attorney asked (that was Derrick Holmes alibi). Douglas said he asked of Holmes questions like what was on TV. He then later conceded that he did not test his DNA and said that Holmes did not have a cell phone.

“Derrick Holmes had no contact with Jessica Chambers on Dec 6, 2014. PERIOD.”

Douglas stated

“Tell me who else you recall interviewing,” the defense attorney asked.

There was another man. He was on the phone records that morning. We spokes after lunch. He then goes on to speak about all of the leads including one in Des Moines, Iowa, but said that man’s DNA was not tested.

Douglas was obviously getting a little “hot under the collar” during his interrogation from defense attorney Alton Peterson. Peterson then pulled out a “portion of a dump” from Jessica’s cell phone. Douglas testified that this report was prepared by Nick Ballance, presently an FBI agent but at the time of the crime he was with the U.S. Marshals Service. Peterson points out that this reports lists about 10 top contacts. The 4th most called was Quentin Tellis’ number.

There are 111 calls and 75 messages on this report between Tellis and Chambers

There are also two Eric’s on this list: Eric Neth(sp) and Eric Weaver.

Douglas stated he knew these Eric’s and their families and neither Eric was DNA tested. Douglas said he interviewed on Eric Taylor who lived between Jessica and Keisha. He was not  DNA tested. He was on the m&m camera footage at 7 something and that’s why Eric taylor was eliminated., Douglas said he eliminated roughy 10 Eric’s/Derrick’s. None of which were DNA tested

Peterson then asked Douglas how many times he interviewed Tellis. Five. Only two sessions were not recorded because this Sheriff’s department doesn’t have audio/ visual rooms. They’re not set up, Douglas answered. He added that he considers Quentin Tellis a personal friend from the day that he met him and still does today.

6:14 pm EST:

The intelligence Specialist Paul Rowlett just finished showing the jury the 98 page power point presentation he believes is the timeline of the event that occurred leading up to and just after the burning of Jessica Chambers. Through a series of cell tower pings surveillance videos as well as the texts messages between Quentin Tellis and Jessica Chambers, Rowlette was able to lay out a detailed time line.

They know from this information that Tellis and Chambers were at Taco Bell together at 6:17 and then headed south. They theorize the two were in the side drive of the Tellis home that leads up to his sister Shalanda Tellis aka Poo Poo.

At 7:26pm they see headlights come out of that drive and turn on Carlisle road which leads the 1.4 miles to the crime scene. They think that was Jessica’s car because Tellis’ mother was at home and Chambers and Tellis would meet on that driveway to keep Tellis’ mother from “freaking out”.  She did not approve of their relationship.

At 6:48 pm according to cell information, Jessica calls her mom there from an area right around M&M grocery which is across the street from the Tellis’ home. Tellis does not use his phone until 7:42pm when he texts Jessica saying “Babe my friend is coming over tonight. I’ll call you tomorrow. Good night. Sweet dreams.”

Then Tellis uses him phone again at 7:46pm to call his sister Raggedy Ann. Tellis earlier told police that he called his sister to borrow her Tahoe. 8:04 they see Raggedy Ann’s  white Tahoe drive by M&M grocery heading away from the crime scene. Also at 8:04 pm Jessica’s phone goes dead possibly from the heat of the fire. Remember her cell phone was found by the driver’s door. And finally at 8:57 pm we see Tellis for the last time in a change of clothes.

6:45 pm ET:

Darla Palmer, attorney for the defense led the cross examination of Intelligence Analyst Paul Rowlett.  She asked Rowlett why he did not use the RTTS from Quentin Tellis’ phone for the timeline.

Rowlett said that Tellis’ cell server was AT&T and their RTTS (location of a phone at time of use) was spotty and he was unable to form a pattern. He added the AT&T Network  Event  Location  System,  which is called NELOS, would show pings from a mile or two apart at the same time making their information unreliable. Palmer also had Rowlett testify that just because they see headlights on the videos, there was no way for him to tell exactly who was in a vehicle. Likewise, they couldn’t read tag numbers from the distance the videos were made.  So just because a white Tahoe drives by M&M grocery there was no way to tell with any certainty who was driving it or if that was the same Tahoe belonging to the defendant’s sister.

Ms Palmer also pointed out that Big Mike was in town during the day at least on Dec 6 because he is seen on the M&M Grocery video camera at around 2:36pm. Ms. Palmer also brought up the fact that the Tennessee Titans game in Nashville wasn’t until the following day after the incident.

Ms. Palmer asks if they just took the word of Big Mike based on where he was at the time if the incident.  Rowlett answered by saying he checked Big Mike’s cell phone records and witnesses placing him in Nashville that night. (Remember Tellis said in the interrogation video that he was with Big Mike the night of December 6, 2014.)

Ms. Palmer didn’t appear to have her act together but keep in mind, the AC in the court house was turned down or off for the weekend and it was in the 90s today. The jury is fanning themselves, the families are fanning themselves and after a a 10 hour day ( so far) and being hot I’m sure all involved are exhausted.

Her final question was to ask what happens when you click “send” on a cellphone what happens. Mr. Rowlett said it depends on the topography in the area and structures or buildings that may effect which tower picks up a signal.

Ms. Palmer also asked if there was any evidence Tellis and Jessica engaged in sexual activity that day and he agreed there wasn’t. During redirect, Rowlett testified that the only Eric or Derrick that were in Jessica’s cell phone were two Facebook friends but she had no cell phone contact.  Rowlett said the NELOS data from AT&T was inaccurate therefore he chose not to use it.

Remember Tellis’ phone was on the AT&T network.


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