Terry Speaks: Trial Begins For Man Accused of Killing, Dismembering New Orleans Stripper

Terry Speaks will face a jury Monday on charges of murdering a New Orleans French Quarter stripper, dismembering her and dumping body parts of the exotic dancer into the Gulf of Mexico.

The remains of Jaren Lockhart, 24, a Bourbon Street dancer, washed ashore on various Mississippi beaches days following her June 2012 murder.

Terry Speaks and his then-girifriend, Margaret Sanchez, were charged with second-degree murder in the death of Lockhart and face a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

Both Terry Speaks and Margaret Sanchez, who lived in the New Orleans suburb of Kenner at the time, have pleaded not guilty in the case.

According to the The Sun Herald, court documents reveal that Lockhart was fatally stabbed before she was dismembered and tossed into the Gulf of Mexico.

Authorities focused on Speaks and Sanchez after body parts began washing ashore.

During a preliminary examination in May, a Kenner police detective testified that Terry Speaks told a jail cellmate that Speaks and his girlfriend had picked up the stripper at a Bourbon Street club. The detective said the threesome drove to a location in Sanchez’ car. Upon arrival, the women allegedly got into a fight, ending in the dancer’s death. He further testified that drugs were involved.

However, no evidence, DNA or otherwise, ties Lockhart to Speaks’ apartment or to Sanchez’ car.

In May, District Judge Stephen Grefer refused to dismiss the indictment against Speaks and Sanchez, despite a request to do so by Terry Speaks’ defense lawyer.

Prosecutors are making their case based on testimony, surveillance video, and license plate photos. A “damning” email sent to Sanchez from Terry Speaks while in federal prison will also be a key element in the prosecution’s case.

A section of the email, which was quoted in a prosecution motion, eludes to the couple’s conspiracy in the alleged murder of Lockhart.

“I want to tell everything to the people just so you can suffer like me. I did everything to clean up the mess we made and where’s the thanks… You’re the one they’ll fry and not me.”

According to prosecutors, witnesses said that the two propositioned several dancers to go with them for a “private party.” Only Lockhart decided to go along for the extra pay.

“While the other dancers who were propositioned declined, Jaren accepted, telling another dancer that she needed to ‘make rent.'”

According to the Associated Press, by severing body parts and dumping them into the ocean, Terry Speaks and Sanchez also face charges of obstructing justice and conspiring to obstruct justice.

A trial for Sanchez has yet to be scheduled.

[Image via The Sun Herald]