HAMMOND, La. – A woman who has been under investigation in the case of a Bourbon Street dancer who was killed and whose body parts washed ashore in Mississippi was released from prison Friday.
Margaret Sanchez had been held in the Tangipahoa Parish Jail for nearly two months on the unrelated charge of harboring a sex offender.
Sanchez and Terry Speaks, a registered sex offender, have been considered persons of interest in the death of Jaren Lockhart.
Friday she got out of jail when the Tangipahoa Parish district attorney decided there wasn’t enough evidence to formally charge her.
“We’re under a certain time limit,” explained Scott Perrilloux, the district attorney.
“We cannot hold people indefinitely in jail as we try to investigate and make a decision. That time was running on us and again, sometimes a decision is not to prosecute and that’s what we had to do here, based on the evidence and investigation before us.”
The sex offender in question is Speaks, who is Sanchez’s boyfriend. Both have previously had their names connected to the disappearance and murder of Lockhart, who was caught on tape leaving a French Quarter club with Speaks and Sanchez.
Neither, however, has been charged in Lockhart’s killing, though the investigation continues.
Tangipahoa public defender Reginald McIntyre said he’s not surprised. In a statement he said, “We’ve said it from the beginning… If there is a crime committed, it’s either in Mississippi, Orleans, or Jefferson Parish. No actual crime was committed by this girl in Tangipahoa Parish. We were right. The DA agrees with us.”
Speaks continues to be held in North Carolina on charges of failing to register as a sex offender. Perrilloux said there is no way to prove Sanchez, who lived with Speaks in Jefferson Parish, knew he wasn’t meeting reporting requirements of a sex offender.