A Baton Rouge man awaiting trial in the 2011 killing and dismembering of his wife, Brusly High School teacher Sylviane Finck Lozada, is begging a judge for his freedom.

Oscar Lozada — who's set to stand trial Nov. 29 and faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder — rejected an offer last year to plead guilty to manslaughter and obstruction of justice in exchange for a 50-year prison term.

In a letter to state District Judge Tiffany Foxworth filed into the court record Thursday, 46-year-old  Lozada says he found Jesus, has "seen the errors of my past mistakes" and repented.

Lozada reveals in his missive that he has a wife in Mexico who needs his help to support her and her two daughters. He also tells the judge he wants to open a Christian bookstore in Mexico and create a ministry to share the Gospel in Latin American prisons.

"I am prayerfully hoping that you have it in your heart to help me and have mercy on me," he writes.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III, whose office is prosecuting Lozada, reacted strongly to the missive.

"This letter is inappropriate, as it's clearly designed to garner support from the judge that will be responsible for his sentencing should he be convicted," Moore said.

"Additionally, this letter is offensive in that although the defendant mentions his present wife and his daughter, he claims to have found God but makes no mention of his wife who was so brutally murdered," he added.

Lozada's attorney, Stephen Sterling, said he was still reviewing the letter and his client's options.

Prosecutors say Lozada killed and dismembered Sylviane Lozada in July 2011, then fled to his home country of Venezuela with the couple's daughter. Venezuela has no extradition agreement with the United States. However, Lozada was arrested in late 2018 in Mexico and brought back to Baton Rouge.

That same year, he confessed to killing and dismembering his wife and twice accompanied detectives in October 2018 to several locations off I-10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in an unsuccessful attempt to recover her remains, authorities have said.

Top stories in Baton Rouge in your inbox

Twice daily we'll send you the day's biggest headlines. Sign up today.

Prosecutor Dana Cummings has stated in court documents that Sylviane Lozada’s body was dismembered and disposed of in buckets. He bought buckets and concrete around the time of his wife's disappearance, court filings indicate.

Lozada later tried to have the confession thrown out, but the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that it can be used at his trial.

In his letter to Foxworth, Lozada says his daughter is praying everyday to see him and be with him again. He also says his parents in Venezuela are "doing the best they can to survive the famine caused by the dictator 'president.'"

Lozada says he wants "so badly to be an ambassador for Christ in Latin America."

"I humbly present my request to you so that I can one day, very soon, stand proudly and boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His coming Kingdom," he tells the judge. "Your act of faith through me could potentially reach countless souls, reaping a bountiful harvest for both of us in the world to come."

Several months ago, Foxworth gave prosecutors permission to bring up three alleged domestic abuse incidents at Lozada's trial. Several former deputies testified at a hearing in May that in the two years leading up to her disappearance Sylviane Lozada told authorities her husband physically abused her three times.

Each time, however, she told East Baton Rouge sheriff's deputies she did not want to press charges against Lozada. On two of those occasions she asked deputies to only speak with her husband.

On the third and final occasion — Dec. 31, 2010, six months before her disappearance — the woman told a deputy at Our Lady of the Lake's Baton Rouge emergency room that she did not want him to contact her husband at all.

"She was very adamant about that," former sheriff's deputy Derek Schilling testified in Foxworth's courtroom. "She was afraid he would become angry and take their baby to Venezuela."

Sylviane Lozada was 51 when she disappeared. 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.

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.