Father of Jessica Chambers Says Daughter Knew Her Accused Killer 'Less Than 2 Weeks': 'He Never Should've Been out on the Street'
Ben Chamber tells PEOPLE that his daughter, Jessica, had only known her alleged killer, Quinton Tellis, for less than two weeks
brightcove.createExperiences(); The father of 19-year-old Jessica Chambers, who was found burned alive in her car in December 2014, says her accused killer should never have been “out on the street.”
When reached by phone, Ben Chamber tells PEOPLE that he is glad Mississippi authorities indicted Quinton Tellis on capital murder charges in the death of Chambers’ teen daughter.
“I’m happy in one way and in one way I really don’t know what to say. I’m so tickled they finally caught [Tellis],” he says. “It’s just one step now in a long process to get him back and get him tried.”
Chambers adds: “I don’t know [Tellis]. I know by his record or whatever that he never should’ve been out on the street. The system failed, I know that.”
Tellis, a 27-year-old Louisana man was indicted on Tuesday. Officials tell PEOPLE that Tellis has “prior convictions” and was being held in Louisiana for unlawful use of a credit card, which belonged to a Chinese exchange student who was murdered.
At a Wednesday press conference, District Attorney John Champion said, “This was personal against Jessica.”
Earlier today, he told PEOPLE that authorities believed Tellis was the last person Chambers was with.
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Chambers says that Jessica had only known Tellis for “less than two weeks.”
He says he found out yesterday that Tellis would be indicted. “I’ve been knowing for a while that things were going down but I just found out yesterday for sure,” he says.
Officials tell PEOPLE that they have not yet determined a motive, but believe Tellis acted alone. Authorities have said that Tellis and Jessica grew up in the same neighborhood.
Chambers’ Father Says Suspect ‘Never Should’ve Been Out on the Street’
Tellis has not yet entered a plea.
The indictment comes more than a year after Chambers was found horribly burned in her car.
Last year, following the release of new information in the case, Chambers questioned why anyone would want to harm his daughter.
“What could a [small] 19-year-old girl do to make you burn somebody alive? This is beyond murder. This is revengeful, hateful killing,” he said.
Authorities made similar statements then, calling the attack on Jessica “very, very personal.”
“Someone meant to cause her great pain,” Champion said at the time.