Unknown hitchhiker could link to Mississippi burning death

BATESVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A woman says she picked up a hitchhiker the night that a Mississippi woman was fatally burned, but she’s unsure whether it’s the man prosecutors have on trial.

Sherry Flowers testified Wednesday in the capital murder retrial of Quinton Tellis, accused of killing Jessica Chambers near a small Mississippi town in 2014. A jury couldn’t reach a verdict in Tellis’ first trial last year.

Flowers isn’t identifying Tellis in court and agrees with a prosecutor that she didn’t know who she picked up. Still, prosecutors seek to connect the ride to Chambers’ death, suggesting it was the right time for Tellis to travel away from Chambers’ burning car. The defense disputes the timing.

A medical examiner says Chambers’ death was a homicide from soot and smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.

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