A Baton Rouge man accused in the 2011 slaying and dismemberment of his wife, Brusly High School teacher Sylviane Finck Lozada, was given a new attorney Tuesday.

Oscar Lozada, who was arrested in 2018, is now represented by East Baton Rouge Parish assistant public defender Stephen Sterling.

Sterling is replacing former assistant public defender Quintillis Lawrence, who resigned to run for a 19th Judicial District Court judgeship. Lawrence is in a Dec. 5 runoff with lawyer Eboni Johnson-Rose.

State District Judge Tiffany Foxworth set a Feb. 22 hearing date for Lozada to give Sterling time to come up to speed on the second-degree murder case.

Lozada, 45, confessed in 2018 to killing and dismembering his wife, East Baton Rouge sheriff’s officials have said. He later tried to have the confession thrown out, but the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled the confession can be used at his trial. Lozada does not have a trial date.

Sylviane Lozada was 51 when she disappeared in July 2011. Her body has never been found. Her blood was discovered on the ceiling and walls of the garage at the family's Spring Lake Drive home in Baton Rouge.

Lozada, who faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if found guilty as charged, previously rejected an offer to plead guilty to manslaughter and obstruction of justice in exchange for a 50-year prison term.

He fled to his home country of Venezuela with the couple's daughter after his wife went missing, authorities said. Venezuela does not have an extradition agreement with the United States. He was arrested in Mexico in late 2018 and brought back to Baton Rouge.

Lozada twice accompanied detectives in October 2018 to several locations off Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in an unsuccessful attempt to recover his wife's remains, authorities have said.

The couple’s daughter lives with her mother's family in Belgium, her mother's home country.


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.