GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - The man accused of killing and dismembering Jaren Lockhart took the stand in his own defense Friday. Terry Speaks, who initially tried to represent himself, is now telling jurors his side of the story.
(Mobile users can read tweets of the testimony here: http://shout.lt/58X2. Some material is very graphic.)
Speaks became emotional on the stand as he recounted the evening that he admits he met Lockhart, telling jurors he thought he contributed to her murder.
Speaks told jurors that he and his former girlfriend, Margaret Sanchez, were on Bourbon Street when another man named "Nick" approached them asking for girls to party and offering cash.
Speaks claimed Sanchez agreed to be one of the girls before the pair started searching for someone to join them. He said he met Lockhart at Temptations strip club and he and Sanchez convinced her to go to the party.
But he told jurors when they met back up with the man he calls Nick, Nick only wanted one girl. So Lockhart left with Nick and he and Sanchez went home.
As his eyes filled with tears, he told the jurors: Margret and I thought we had contributed to the murder of Jaren Lockhart."
Speaks went on to explain why he never told this part of the story before, testifying: "If you sell drugs to someone and they end up dying from that you can be charged with that, and my thought is we talked this girl into doing the party and she ended up dead, and we ended up receiving money from that, and the whole time I'm thinking we've done something wrong like I committed negligence homicide."
Speaks will likely be the final witness for the defense.
Closing statements will follow, but it's unclear if the jury will get the case today.