NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Terry Speaks, the man accused of murdering and dismembering a Bourbon Street dancer, has dismissed his counsel, opting to represent himself.
Appearing before Judge Stephen Grefer Monday morning, Speaks was advised by Grefer that self representation was not advisable. Grefer made sure Speaks understood the ramifications of representing himself, noting that he will be given no special privileges while going up against experienced attorneys.
However, Speaks opted to defend himself. Earlier in the month, Speaks requested to fire John Benz, claiming he had not put forth sufficient effort in Speaks' defense.
Benz will continue to advise Speaks as standby counsel. If Speaks changes his mind during the trial, attorneys can take over representation.
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.