Trial delayed for pair in Jaren Lockhart case

The Kenner couple accused of stabbing Bourbon Street dancer Jaren Lockhart to death and dismembering her body two years ago will not stand trial on Jan. 12 as originally planned.

Judge Stephen Grefer, of the 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna, on Monday scheduled routine motions for that date instead. That came as no surprise; there was little expectation that the trial of Margaret Sanchez and Terry Speaks for second-degree murder and obstruction of justice would get underway that soon.

Grefer conferred with attorneys for both sides before rescheduling the trial, saying he will rule on defense motions about the status of potential witnesses by Dec. 12.

The defense is still reviewing evidence gathered by the prosecution, including a confession Speaks allegedly made to another inmate while serving his sentence on an unrelated charge in a New York prison.

Prosecutors have said they plan to try Sanchez, 30, and Speaks, 42, separately. The two are accused of stabbing Lockhart to death in June 2012, dismembering her body and throwing it off a bridge into the Gulf of Mexico. The obstruction of justice charge stems from the dismemberment.

Assistant District Attorney Doug Freese said he would still like a separate case against Speaks — for not registering as a sex offender in Jefferson Parish — to go to trial on Jan. 12. But the matter was left open after John Benz, Speaks’ attorney, said he still has a lot of preparation to do in that case as well.

The charge of failure to register as a sex offender stems from Speaks’ 2003 conviction in North Carolina for having sex with a minor.

Woman robbed on French Quarter street

New Orleans police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a man wanted in connection with an armed robbery Sunday in the 800 block of Gov. Nicholls Street.

A 28-year-old woman was walking about 12:45 a.m. when she saw a man get out of a vehicle that stopped near her. The man showed her a gun and demanded her purse. She complied, and he got back in the vehicle, which drove away.

The suspect was described as a black man in his 30s with a thin build, about 6 feet tall and with short hair. He was wearing a black hooded jacket.

Police released a computer sketch of him.

The vehicle was described as a dark-colored SUV, possibly a mid-2000s Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Detective Thomas Perez is in charge of the investigation and can be reached at (504) 658-6080, or anyone with information can call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Shoplifter takes 30 air fresheners from store

The NOPD is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a man wanted in a shoplifting that occurred Nov. 11 at the Family Dollar store at 2147 S. Claiborne Ave.

The suspect entered the business shortly before 4 p.m. and placed 30 air fresheners, valued at more than $200, in a bag. He then left without paying.

The incident was caught by a surveillance camera.

Detective Martin Smith is in charge of the investigation and can be reached at (504) 658-6060, or call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

S. Claiborne Avenue stores hit by robbers

New Orleans police are investigating two armed robberies that occurred Sunday.

In the first incident, a man with a gun entered the Family Dollar store at 2147 S. Claiborne Ave. about 7 a.m. and demanded the cashier fill a bag with cash.

The cashier complied, handing over an undisclosed amount of cash. The robber fled in a white station wagon.

About 5:30 p.m., an armed man entered the Advance Auto Parts store at 2631 S. Claiborne Ave. and told the cashier to open the registers.

The cashier did so, and the man took the cash and fled.

Man shot at Magnolia and Washington

A 26-year-old man was shot about 1:50 a.m. Monday at Washington Avenue and Magnolia Street.

The victim was walking when he saw a dark-colored vehicle behind him. The vehicle stopped and a man with a gun got out and called out to the victim, saying, “Hey, man.”

The victim started running, and the armed man fired at him, wounding him.

He was taken to the hospital in a private vehicle.