‘Probable cause’ in Lockhart murder
By Geoff Belcher
May 27, 2014, 18:55
A Jefferson Parish judge on Tuesday determined there was probably cause to hold a Kenner woman in the death of 22-year-old Jaren Lockhart, whose dismembered remains washed up on Mississippi Gulf Coast beaches for several days in 2012.
Margaret Sanchez, now 30, is being held at the Jefferson Parish Jail on charges of second degree murder and obstruction of justice.
Sanchez's attorney told the judge Tuesday that there is no physical or DNA evidence linking his client to Lockhart's death, and claimed the crime may have been committed by Terry Speaks while Sanchez was at work.
Lockhart was caught on video surveillance footage on June 5, 2012, leaving her place of employment, Temptations gentlemen's club in New Orleans, with a couple later identified as Speaks and Sanchez.
Her torso was found on the beach in Bay St. Louis near Bay Oaks Drive less than two days later.
Officers from the Hancock County Sheriff's Office controlled the investigation until last month, when they turned it over to the Kenner Police Department.
Speaks and Sanchez were initially arrested in Loranger, La., on June 12, 2012.
Speaks was initially held on a charge of failure to register as a sex offender and was extradited back to Surry County, N.C. in July 2012.
A federal judge in North Carolina sentenced him to two years and eight months in prison on that charge in December 2012.
Sanchez was held at the Tangipahoa Parish jail until Aug. 10, 2012, when she was released because a prosecutor determined she could not be held on her initial charge of harboring a sex offender.
Kenner police arrested her again earlier this month on the murder and obstruction charges. As of press time Tuesday, she remained incarcerated at the Jefferson Parish Jail on a $750,000 bond.