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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Jaren Lockhart Murder Case

     Jaren Lockhart lived with her fiancee at the Capri Motel in New Orleans, and worked as an exotic dancer at the Temptations Strip Club in the French Quarter. She had a 3-year-old daughter but did not have custody of the child. On Tuesday night, June 5, 2012, the 23-year-old showed up for her shift at the Bourbon Street club and worked until the early morning hours of the next day. When she didn't return to the Capri on Wednesday, her fiancee reported her missing to the New Orleans police.

     Late in the afternoon of Thursday, June 7, workers pumping sand onto the beach at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, discovered a female torso that had washed up from the Gulf of Mexico. Early Saturday, June 9, 2012, a fisherman on the beach at Pass Christian came across the lower portion of a human leg. Later that day, searchers in Long Beach, Mississippi found a female head that had washed ashore.

     The body parts had come from Jaren Lockhart who had been stabbed in the chest, her presumed cause of death. Investigators with the Hancock County, Mississippi Sheriff's Office didn't know where the victim had been murdered, or exactly when. Moreover, detectives didn't have a murder weapon, a motive, or any suspects. The Capri Motel, Lockhart's $50-a-day residence, mainly housed gulf oil workers and French Quarter bar employees. Detectives wondered if she had been murdered by someone living at the motel.

     A review of the Temptations Strip Club's surveillance tapes showed Lockhart, on the night of June 5, 2012, walking along Bourbon Street and into the club accompanied by two people identified as 28-year-old Margaret Sanchez, and Sanchez's boyfriend, Terry Speaks, 39. The couple, who appeared to be acquainted with Lockhart, resided in Kenner, Louisiana.

     Investigators, in checking out Speaks, learned that he was a federal fugitive for failing to register as a sex offender in connection with a 2003 case involving a 14-year-old girl in North Carolina. Speaks also had convictions for assault and domestic violence. Because Speaks and Sanchez were now prime suspects in Lockhart's murder, the FBI stepped up its investigation to find and arrest Speaks on the federal, North Carolina sex offender registration warrant.

     On June 12, 2012, police in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, pulled Speaks and Sanchez over in a routine traffic stop. He had dyed his hair orange and she had colored her hair blue. Speaks jumped out of the car, scaled a fence, and ran into the woods. Police caught the fugitive and turned him over to the FBI. The police took Sanchez into custody for harboring a sex offender. Speaks was extradited to North Carolina where he was held on $1 million bond. Sanchez was held on $35,000 bail.

     A few months after his arrest, the authorities extradited Speaks back to Louisiana to stand trial for Jaren Lockhart's murder. Sanchez was also charged with murder in the Lockhart case. Investigators believed the suspects had killed Lockhart in Louisiana, then dumped her remains in Mississippi.

     In June 2015, a jury in a Jefferson Parish court found Terry Speaks guilty of second-degree murder. The defendant had fired his attorneys before the trial, and had represented himself. For the killing and dismemberment of Jaren Lockhart, Judge Stephen Grefer sentenced Speaks to life in prison.

     On June 20, 2016, Margaret Sanchez pleaded guilty to manslaughter and obstruction of justice in the Lockhart killing. Judge Grefer sentenced her to forty years in prison.

     Because Terry Speaks didn't confess, and Sanchez didn't go to trial, the motive behind the killing and dismemberment of Jaren Lockhart remained unknown.

    

2 comments:

  1. I find myself wondering if Addie Hall & Terry Speaks (reportedly both from North Carolina) are known acquaintances???

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  2. Truly sad ... her friends and family are saying that this very pretty woman was more than 'just' a stripper, and even a very good mom, to her 8 year old dau, Rylie, whom her mom had custody of. My prayers are for Rylie now ...

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