Terry Speaks stands trial in death, dismemberment of Bourbon Street dancer

Terry Speaks stands trial in death, dismemberment of Bourbon Street dancer

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The man accused of killing and dismembering a Bourbon Street dancer will stand trial on Monday.

Terry Speaks, 42, and former girlfriend Margaret Sanchez are accused of killing and dismembering Jaren Lockhart in 2012. Surveillance video shows Lockhart leaving a French Quarter club with Speaks and Sanchez the last time she was seen alive.

Kenner police headed the investigation, believing Lockhart was killed in Speaks' Kenner home. The pair allegedly dismembered the Bourbon Street dancer before disposing her body along the Mississippi coast, police say.

Speaks' attorney, John Benz, claims there is no evidence showing that Lockhart was in Speaks' home before her death. However, Kenner police disagree.

"We do have evidence of them coming to Kenner with the victim and going to Mississippi and returning to New Orleans and Kenner," said Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway.

Both suspects have pleaded not guilty and will be tried separately. Speaks and Sanchez are booked with second-degree murder and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Before the trial gets underway, a judge is expected to consider Speaks' request to fire Benz, claiming he had not put forth sufficient effort in Speaks' defense.

Speaks' attorney has also been trying to delay the trial. According to our partners at Nola.com/The Times Picayune, Benz filed a motion Friday pointing out similarities between Lockhart's death and those of two women recently found dead on I-10.

However, an arrest was made on Saturday in one of the deaths. The man accused of killing 19-year-old Jasilas Wright, Adam Littleton, turned himself in to police in Shreveport. Police identified Littleton as Wright's boyfriend during the investigation.

Speaks' trial begins at 9 a.m. Monday at Jefferson Parish Courthouse in Gretna.

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