GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - Jurors cried Wednesday as they looked at pictures of Jaren Lockhart's dismembered body. This after the defense filed two motions for a mistrial.
The state called 14 witnesses to the stand Wednesday. The lengthiest testimony came from Hancock County investigator Steve Saucier, who responded to the beach in Bay St. Louis on the day that some of Lockhart's remains washed ashore.
Saucier testified, "There were patches of skin missing in several places on the torso. That's where we believed tattoos were removed from the torso."
Several jurors wept while looking at pictures of Lockhart's remains. Saucier admitted there was no evidence found in the Kenner home that Terry Speaks and Margaret Sanchez shared that showed that Lockhart had been there, although the bathroom smelled like chlorine. In the backyard, a cadaver dog picked up a scent near a burn pile. Under the pile, a pair of women's underwear and a hand towel were buried in the ground.
Prosecutor Doug Freese asked Saucier, "Did you ever develop information that anyone other than Speaks or Sanchez were responsible for the death of Jaren Lockhart?"
Saucier responded, "Absolutely not".
On cross examination, Speaks' public defender, John Benz, questioned Saucier about the clothes that were found on the beach, along with Lockhart's remains. Although the items matched what Lockhart wore in a video the night she went missing, the investigator admitted he never checked with her boyfriend or co-workers to verify that the clothing was, in fact, hers.
Earlier in the day, Benz filed two separate motions for a mistrial. The first, arguing Speaks was ineffective defending himself on the first day of trial. The judge ruled against that motion. Then, Benz argued witnesses from the Hancock County Sheriff's Office were granting TV interviews in violation of trial rules. The judge ruled against that motion as well, but FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti said the issue could come up again in the future.
"What they're doing is preserving a record. That may be an issue they take up on appeal, that because this guy talked on television, he somehow tainted the jury pool I'm sure will be their allegation," Raspanti explained.
Former friends of Sanchez and Speaks also took the stand Wednesday, including a neighbor who says he saw Speaks acting suspiciously around the time of Lockhart's murder, trying to hide something inside a trash bag near the trunk of his car.
The investigator with Hancock County also testified Wednesday, that in the burn pile found behind Speaks' Kenner home, they found a burned circuit board of a cell phone and white leather straps attached to a buckle that resembled shoes Lockhart wore the night she went missing.