Louisiana Judge finds probable cause

AMITE, La. (AP) -- A state district court judge has found probable cause to keep a woman -- one of two suspects in the death and dismemberment of a New Orleans dancer -- in custody on a count of harboring a sex offender.

The Advocate reports Tangipahoa Parish sheriff's Detective Mike Moore testified during Tuesday's hearing that defendant Margaret Sanchez, 28, of Kenner, referred to alleged slaying accomplice Terry Christopher Speaks, 39, by two aliases the night of the couple's arrest in Tangipahoa Parish and told officers she knew Speaks had "a history or a warrant" in North Carolina.

Sanchez and Speaks were arrested June 12 following a traffic stop near Loranger, Moore said.

The couple had been identified in a surveillance video leaving the Bourbon Street club where dancer Jaren Lockhart, 22, worked around 2 a.m. June 6, the day Lockhart was reported missing, investigators said.

Lockhart's partial remains floated ashore on several Mississippi beaches, beginning June 7 in Hancock County.

After his capture, Speaks continued to misidentify himself for more than an hour, until he finally admitted his real name and date of birth, Moore said.

Officers then identified Speaks by photograph as a sex offender wanted in North Carolina, California and by the U.S. Marshals Service for failure to register as a sex offender, Moore testified.

Speaks was booked with several counts, among them being a fugitive from the U.S. Marshals Service.

He later was transferred into federal custody and extradited to North Carolina, authorities said.

Sanchez was booked with failure to signal and resisting an officer by providing misinformation, and was held in Tangipahoa Parish Jail in lieu of $1,500 bail.

Published: Thu, Jul 26, 2012