State District Judge Stephen Grefer denied a second request for a mistrial in the Terry Speaks murder trial Wednesday, this time after a lawyer for Speaks complained that law enforcement officials from Hancock County in Mississippi, where parts of the victim’s body turned up, were giving TV interviews on the courthouse steps, possibly within earshot of witnesses who have been sequestered.
Grefer denied the motion after noting that there was only one investigator from Hancock left to take the stand who might have heard something he should not have.
And that investigator, Steve Saucier, testified that he was standing far enough away from his supervisor, who was giving the interview, to avoid hearing any facts about the case.
John Benz, one of two public defenders representing Speaks, asked if Saucier had spoken with other investigators who were close enough to hear the interviews, and Saucier said that he had not since he was sequestered.
Grefer asked the supervisor, Capt. Glenn Grannan, to come to the microphone and reminded him about the rules protecting future witnesses from hearing the facts of the case.
“I certainly will and I certainly have, your honor,” he replied.
The early stages of the case were handled by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.
The trial of Speaks, who is accused along with an accomplice of killing and dismembering Bourbon Street dancer Jaren Lockhart in 2012, continues.