A wild start in the trial of Terry Speaks, accused of the murder of Jaren Lockhart


Margaret Sanchez mugshot from 2012. (Photo: Federal Prison System)

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GRETNA, La. (WGNO) - A bizarre beginning in the trial of Terry Speaks, accused of murdering and dismembering Jaren Lockhart and dumping her remains on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2012.

Speaks fired his lawyer, John Benz, and decided to represent himself in court Monday morning. This move comes just before jury selection was set to begin in Jefferson Parish.

Speaks was warned by the judge that this was not a good idea, but he insisted on representing himself in spite of having no legal training.

Jury selection is expected to begin Monday afternoon.

The 42-year-old Speaks and his then girlfriend 30-year-old Margaret Sanchez are accused of  picking up Lockhart in a Bourbon Street bar Feb. 6, 2012 and killing her.

They are also accused of dismembering her body and dumping it along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Sanchez is being tried separately in the case.


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