Man convicted in murder, dismemberment seeks new trial

AP News
Posted: Jul 07, 2015 10:54 AM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A man convicted in the death and dismemberment of a Bourbon Street dancer is seeking a new trial, citing a history of mental illness and three failed requests for a mistrial during his proceedings.

A hearing on the motion will be heard Thursday, the same date Terry Speaks is scheduled to be sentenced to life in prison in the 2013 death of Jaren Lockhart.

Public defender John Benz argues that Judge Stephen Grefer should have asked Speaks about possible mental illness when the defendant sought to represent himself on the trial's opening day. Benz's motion says Speaks has been hospitalized for mental illness, including a suicide attempt.

Speaks and his girlfriend, Margaret Sanchez, are accused of cutting up Lockhart's body and dumping the remains along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.