Who Is Travis Sanford? One-Tie Murder Suspect Shot To Death

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Who is Travis Sanford? One-Tie Murder Suspect Shot To Death

In 2014, Travis Sanford was questioned in Jessica Chambers' horrific murder. Now he is dead, too.

It’s one of the most brutal murders in recent memory. In 2014 in Courtland Mississippi, cheerleader Jessica Chambers was found burned alive, with severe burns covering 93 percent of her body. Though she survived to get help from police who arrived on the scene, she succumbed to her injuries in a hospital the following day. Her mother was holding her hand at the time of her death.

Her family and friends were stunned and horrified, wondering who could have done this to her. Ultimately, a man named Quentin Tellis was charged in her murder but he was never convicted. Two different trials ended in a hung jury after a witness testified that Jessica told police on the scene that someone named Eric or Derrick had harmed her.

At the time of her death, Jessica was involved with a 28-year-old man named Travis Sanford. While police did question Sanford, he was ruled out as a suspect in the murder because he had been incarcerated at the time of her death.

This week, someone shot Sanford dead in his home in Mississippi. He was at home with his girlfriend and children at the time. Police in Courtland say they have arrested the man responsible for the shooting.

Who is Travis Sanford? Read on for all the details.

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1. Crime

On Dec. 6, 2014, police in Chambers, MS responded to reports of a car fire on a rural road. When they arrived they found not only the burning car but Jessica Chambers. The 19-year-old was stripped to her underwear with burns covering most of her body and she staggered to the officers begging for their help.

Later, doctors and police would reveal that she had been doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire in her car, which was found in flames nearby. Jessica was airlifted to a hospital in Memphis where she died the following day. When paramedics and police asked her if she could tell them who had done this to her, she whispered a name that sounded like Eric or Derrick.

2. Sparse clues

Police had few clues to go on at the time of her death. The names Eric and Derrick evidently didn’t lead to any obvious suspects, and at the time her father said he couldn’t imagine who would have done this.

Shortly before her death, she had stopped at a gas station and was seen on surveillance video waving to someone out of camera range and walking over to the person. There were no other clues about who she saw and where she went afterward. Less than two hours later, she would be found by police.

3. Travis Sanford

Jessica was reportedly dating Travis Sanford at the time of her death. At 28, Sanford was nine years older than the former cheerleader. He had been a football player at South Panola High School and remained in the area afterwards.

When Jessica died, he was questioned repeatedly by police. Ultimately, they concluded he had no part in her death because he had been incarcerated when it happened.

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4. Trial

Police would go on to charge Quentin Tellis in Jessica’s murder. He was never convicted, however, after juries were deadlocked in two separate trials. The fact that Jessica had identified someone named Eric or Derrick threw doubt on Tellis.

As of 2019, Tellis is serving time on an unrelated murder.

5. Death of Travis Sanford

Five years later, the community was shocked to learn that Sanford had been shot to death in his own home on Friday night. Early reports said that Sanford had been home with his girlfriend and two children when someone shot him to death with a shotgun.

By Monday, March 18, police announced that they had arrested Myron Ardyl Powell Jr., from Batesville in connection with the murder. According to police statements, the two men had been playing dice all Friday night and had a dispute about $700. At some point, Powell grabbed at double barreled shotgun loaded with buckshot and took aim at Sandford. He missed the first shot. He fired again and hit Sanford, this time killing him.

Powell will be charged in the case.

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.

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