GRETNA, La. (WGNO) - The judge in the Terry Speaks trial says that according to the current timeline, the jury should get the case on Friday.
Day three was an emotional roller coaster as the victim’s boyfriend—the father of her child—took the stand, and jurors were presented with more graphic photos and descriptions of Jaren Lockhart’s mutilated body parts as they were discovered in Pass Christian and Long Beach, Mississippi.
At one point, several jurors wept openly, and Lockhart's mother left the courtroom, wiping away tears.
The defense asked the lead investigator on the case, Steve Saucier, "Was the entire body of the person ultimately recovered?" he replied, "No, it was not."
Several Bourbon Street dancers took the stand, stating that, on the night in question, they saw Lockhart leave the area with Speaks and his girlfriend, Margaret Sanchez.
A computer forensics expert confirmed that Speaks' computer had been wiped of information including photos that were deleted on June 10, 2012, just days after the murder.
Assistant District Attorney Doug Freese walked in front of jurors, holding up at pair of bikini bottoms that were found on the beach, believed to be Lockhart's.
In another line of questioning, Saucier said that a "ritual of sacrifice" is one motive that is being considered because a very rare celestial phenomenon, called a Venus Transition, happened on June 5-6, 2012. It was the last Venus transit of the 21st century.
The prosecution says the term was mentioned in e-mails between Speaks and Sanchez.
He also said that his team investigated Lockhart's boyfriend and also other regular customers who were associated with Lockhart, but they were dismissed as suspects because he had "no indication that anyone other than Sanchez and Speaks were responsible for Jaren Lockhart’s death.”
An audio recording was played from an interview with Speaks one year after the murder. During the interview, he said he could not remember anything and said, "You got me baffled. I remember none of that. Our life was so basic," and later, "I must be crazy."
Those in the courtroom also heard testimony that cadaver dogs at the home of Speaks and Sanchez reacted to scents in a few places in the backyard, including shrubbery, the edge of a burn pile, and a trash can. Investigators then discovered a number of items under the burn pile, including women’s underwear, a hand towel and what appeared to be the burned remnants of a cell phone.
However, the lead investigator also testified that even though a large amount of items from the home were sent in for lab testing, no proof was found that Lockhart had been there.