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GRETNA, La. (AP) — Acting as his own attorney, a man accused of killing and dismembering a French Quarter stripper has helped choose jurors who will decide his guilt or innocence.

Judge Stephen Grefer (GREF-er) of suburban Jefferson Parish agreed Monday to let Terry Speaks represent himself after making sure Speaks realized that doing so is generally unwise and can be damaging.

Grefer refused to fire the public defenders who”d been representing Speaks. He named them Speaks” assistants so they could counsel him and resume his defense if he changes his mind.

After Speaks and prosecutors questioned 42 potential jurors, nine women and five men were sworn in. Two men are alternates.

Speaks and his former girlfriend, Margaret Sanchez, have pleaded not guilty to charges including second-degree murder of Jaren Lockhart.

Sanchez”s trial date has not been scheduled.

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