GRETNA, La. – A judge has rejected a request for a mistrial in the case of a man accused of killing and dismembering a New Orleans stripper on the grounds that he did a poor job defending himself.
Multiple media outlets report that Judge Stephen Grefer denied the request from lawyers for Terry Speaks on Wednesday.
Grefer advised Speaks against acting as his own attorney but granted the request as the trial began earlier this week. Grefer warned Speaks then that he could not use ineffective counsel as a reason to ask for a new trial. Grefer also appointed the public defenders who had been representing Speaks as his assistants, so they could take over if the defendant changed his mind.
Speaks did so late Tuesday, after a day of cross-examining prosecution witnesses.