Lawyer: Bond too high for Louisiana murder suspect; he’s been tried twice in Mississippi burning death case

Published 8:11 am Wednesday, March 4, 2020

A defense attorney says $300,000 bond is excessive for a man accused of killing a woman in Louisiana and tried twice — with both juries deadlocked — in a Mississippi woman’s burning death.

Bond for Quinton Tellis, who has pleaded not guilty in Louisiana to second-degree murder, should be reduced to $25,000, defense attorney M. Randall Donald said in court papers.

Tellis’ next court hearing is scheduled April 7, the News-Star reported Tuesday.

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He is accused of killing Ming-Chen Hsiao, who had recently graduated from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, in her apartment in August 2015.

The Ouachita Parish indictment alleges that he tortured Hsiao, 34, before killing her, probably to get the number needed to use her debit card.

He originally was held without bond, but Judge Larry Jefferson set bond at $300,000 in October.

That’s too much considering the charge against Tellis and his inability to meet the bond, Donald wrote in papers filed in December. Releasing Tellis on bond would let him help with his defense, free up space for violent offenders and save the state pretrial incarceration costs, Donald said.

Tellis pleaded guilty in 2016 to unauthorized use of Hsiao’s debit card to withdraw at least $1,000.

He was sentenced to 10 years and extradited to Mississippi, where he was tried in 2017 and 2018 on a capital murder charge in the death of Jessica Chambers, 19, in December 2014 in Panola County, Mississippi.

Neither Mississippi jury was able to reach a verdict. After the second mistrial, Tellis was returned to Louisiana.