The trial for Quenton Tellis in Ouachita Parish is underway. Monday morning Judge Larry Jefferson heard and made decisions on two pretrial motions.
During the pretrial motions, Monroe Police Detective Duane Cookson gave testimony about the possible connection Tellis has to Meing-Chen Hsiao, also known as Mandy, a former ULM student.
Police say her decomposed body was found at her house August 8th, but police say their investigation revealed she was stabbed to death at the end of July.
One motion was a request from Tellis’ attorney to keep out any mention of Mandy’s homicide or the charges Tellis faces in Mississippi for the death of Jessica Chambers.
The district attorney’s office put Eric Hill, one of Tellis’ relatives, on the stand. He testified that one night Tellis said he was involved in a robbery of a credit card that went wrong and someone was stabbed several times.
The district attorney’s office argued this proves Tellis took Mandy’s card without permission, but the judge ruled Tellis was not on trial for murder. He decided the six jurors would hear no mention of the Mississippi murder and limited details of Mandy’s death at trial.
The judge ruled that the district attorney’s office can acknowledge Mandy’s death, but they will not hear about the nature of her death.
During testimony for the other motion, Detective Cookson said on the stand Tellis was seen on camera with Mandy before her death and then he was caught on camera using her card after her death. When questioned, police say Tellis told them a drug dealer gave him Mandy’s debit card.
The judge ruled the information Tellis gave police during the questioning will be allowed during the trial.
The court plans for jury selections to last through Tuesday. The court will be in recess on Wednesday, and the trial will pick up again on Thursday.