Grand jury indicts couple in La. stripper's murder

Jaren Lockhart

Personal photo

GRETNA, La. - A grand jury has indicted a couple in the 2012 killing and dismemberment of Jaren Lockhart in New Orleans' French Quarter.

The Times-Picayune reports that 30-year-old Margaret Sanchez, of Metairie, and 41-year-old Terry Speaks, who is in a federal prison in New York, were each charged Thursday with second-degree murder, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The couple invited 22-year-old Lockhart, a stripper, to a private party on June 6, 2012. Police say Lockhart told co-workers at Temptations Gentlemen's Club that she was leaving to "make rent."

She died from a single stab wound to the chest. Her heads, legs and arms below the elbows were cut off.

The body parts were discarded along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Speaks was also charged with failure to register as a sex offender, according to the Times-Picayune. He had moved to Louisiana from North Carolina sometime after he was convicted in 2003 of having sex with a minor. He was jailed in New York after he emerged as a suspect in Lockhart's death.

Detectives testified in May that two inmates in the New York federal prison said Speaks admitted to them that he was involved in the crime, the paper reports. Authorities think Lockhart was killed Speaks and Sanchez's shared apartment before the couple drove Sanchez's car to Hancock County and tossed the remains off the Bay St. Louis bridge.

Investigators believe the victim's body was dismembered to make identification difficult. Lockhart had tattoos on her forearms, which police said still have not been recovered.

If convicted of murder, the paper reports Sanchez and Speaks would both spend the rest of their lives in prison without the possibility of probation, parole or a suspended sentence.