PANOLA COUNTY, MS (WMC) - Jury selection started Monday in the retrial of Quinton Tellis -- the man accused of killing and burning Jessica Chambers in Panola County.
Jurors from another county will be used this time due to the widespread publicity of the case.
Chambers was burned alive and left to die on a rural road in Courtland, Mississippi, in December of 2014.
She later died at a hospital with burns to 98 percent of her body.
Prosecutors indicted 29-year-old Quinton Tellis 14 months later.
He said he was an acquaintance of Chambers, but he has maintained his innocence.
Jurors failed to reach a verdict in the first trial last October forcing the judge to declare a mistrial.
There has been even more coverage of the burning death of Jessica Chambers with several documentaries recently airing on cable channels. During jury selection in Oktibbeha County, many potential jurors said they have seen the cable documentaries.
The jury for the retrial will also be sequestered like the first trial, this time bused in from Oktibbeha County 120 miles away from Batesville. The jury in the first trial apparently didn’t understand the judge’s instructions coming back twice announcing different verdicts from different jurors.
The jury finally said it could not reach a unanimous verdict. It was clear how disappointing the mistrial was to Jessica’s father, who said he was “sick.”
Tellis' family was relieved.
“It’s a sign of relief. They should still continue to search for Jessica’s real murder," they said.
This summer, district attorney John Champion was accused of trying to pressure another man who’s in jail to testify against Tellis. The judge ruled that there was no evidence of any professional misconduct on Champion’s part.
In the last few days, Chambers' mom told People Magazine she remains hopeful that there will be justice for her daughter as the new trial gets underway today.