GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - A jury of nine women and three men deliberated for about two-and-a half hours before convicting Terry Speaks in the murder of Jaren Lockhart.
The jury found him guilty of second-degree murder, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit obstruction.
(Mobile users can read tweets of Friday's testimony here: http://shout.lt/58X2. Some material is very graphic.)
The verdict was handed down Friday night after a week of testimony that culminated with Speaks taking the stand in his own defense. His version of what happened the night Lockhart was killed, along with strange and graphic phone calls and emails between him and his alleged accomplice, had jurors riveted, according to a FOX assignment editor who was in the courtroom.
Speaks and his former girlfriend, Margaret Sanchez, were accused in the 2012 death and dismemberment of Lockhart, whom they met at the French Quarter strip club where Lockhart worked.
Hancock County investigators who were crucial in the case were visibly pleased as they exited court, but wouldn't offer comment because Sanchez's trial is still pending. Prosecutors, who also declined to go on camera, offered one comment, saying they were pleased to help secure justice for Lockhart.
Meanwhile, Speaks - red-eyed and shackled - was hauled away to prison. His sentencing is set for July 8.
A status hearing for Sanchez is set for June 24. No trial date has been set.