Former cellmate says Terry Speaks confessed to killing Jaren Lockhart

Former cellmate says Terry Speaks confessed to killing Jaren Lockhart

GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - Testimony continued for the third straight day in the Terry Speaks murder trial Thursday.

Speaks' attorneys again moved for a mistrial because of interviews FOX 8 aired with investigators, but the judge denied it.

In what could be the most damning testimony yet, Speaks' former cellmate took the stand to tell the jury about Speaks' alleged confession to the murder of Jaren Lockhart. Speaks and former girlfriend Margaret Sanchez are accused of luring Lockhart to their Kenner home, killing her, dismembering her body and dumping her remains into the Gulf of Mexico.

Inmate Christian Delrosario, who is serving a life sentence in New York for murder, told jurors that he was told two different versions of what happened that night. He said Speaks initially told him that after he and Sanchez killed Lockhart, they put her in the body into the bathtub and dismembered her, telling the jury:

"He said he took body and the first thing they did was decapitate her head, and once they decapitated her they cut off her legs and her arms."

But Delrosario told jurors that Speaks changed his tune after police visited him at the New York state prison, blaming the entire thing on Sanchez:

"He said they asked the girl to join them for a little party and a little sex. ...He said the girl said no, so they followed her and he struck her in the head, so they hog tied her, put her in the trunk of the car and drove to the house. ...He said when they got to the house they put her in the bathtub and waited for her to come to. ...He said when she came to, Margaret went outside and got a scythe and came in and started stabbing her to death."

He told jurors that Speaks claimed Sanchez stabbed Lockhart repeatedly, but a forensic pathologist testified that Lockhart died of a single stab wound to the chest.

Delrosario continued:

"He said they dumped the body in a very large lake. They were near a bridge and dumped the body in a very large lake. …He said when they were dumping the body parts, he said they were putting the parts in different places so if someone found the parts they wouldn't be able to identify the victim."

He then told jurors that Speaks was methodical in covering up the crime, saying:

"He said after they took the body, they made sure they left no trace behind. They even put some bleach in the car."

Another inmate also told jurors that Speaks claimed Sanchez did it, and then he helped her cover it up.

During cross examination, defense attorney John Benz asked Delrosario about inconsistencies in the various versions of stories Delrosario told investigators, noting the convicted murderer would get a letter from the state of Louisiana requesting leniency for cooperating in the trial and reminding jurors that they would have to take the word of a felon.

Testimony continues Thursday afternoon, but the judge told jurors they could begin deliberations in the case Friday.

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