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Amanda Hayes faces accessory charge in Kinston woman's murder

Posted October 8, 2013

Laura Ackerson in an undated photo with her sons, Gentle, left, and Grant IV.

— A Wake County grand jury returned an additional indictment Monday for accessory after the fact of murder against a Raleigh woman already facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of her husband's ex-girlfriend.

Amanda Perry Hayes, 41, along with her husband, Grant Ruffin Hayes, 34, was arrested July 25, 2011, in connection with the death of Laura Jean Ackerson, of Kinston.

Investigators say the 27-year-old Ackerson was last seen alive by the Hayeses on July 13, 2011, and that her dismembered remains were discovered 11 days later in a creek near the Richmond, Texas, home of Amanda Hayes' sister.

Grant Hayes was convicted of first-degree murder last month and is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Amanda Hayes is set to go to trial in January.

Her defense attorney, Johnny Gaskins, had no comment Tuesday about the new indictment, and Wake County Assistant District Attorney Becky Holt said the murder charge has not been dropped.

Over the course of Grant Hayes' three-week murder trial, witnesses testified that he and Ackerson were embroiled in a bitter custody dispute over their two young sons and that he lured her to his apartment, killed her, cut up her body, packed it in ice coolers and then drove with his family to Texas to dispose of the remains.

Defense attorneys pointed the finger at Amanda Hayes, saying she confessed to killing Ackerson during an argument and that he was guilty only of trying to help her cover up the crime – "a terrible thing" but not murder.

Amanda Hayes' attorneys, however, have filed several motions indicating that their client was under duress and participated in the crime because she feared for her life as well as the lives of Ackerson's sons and her 1-month-old daughter.

But the state has said that both of the Hayeses were equally culpable in the crime.

Although they did not provide details of Amanda Hayes' involvement during her husband's trial, prosecutors played security video of her dumping cartons of muriatic acid at the end of a rural street in Texas.

Grant Hayes had been recorded on security video purchasing the chemical, which prosecutors contended was initially used to try to destroy Ackerson's remains.

16 Comments

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  • chairmannc Oct 8, 5:09 p.m.

    @kikinc....one lady is dead and her children without a mother and the other is going to prison for the rest of her life. I would say my assumption that both women would have been better off if they had never met him holds up pretty well, don't you think?? Or is that just too logical for you?

  • nshdoodah Oct 8, 4:22 p.m.

    They can't get her to jail quick enough and I hope they both rot in prison.

  • Nauti-dog Oct 8, 3:31 p.m.

    @conservative, aren't you glad we don't live in fantasy land? Imagine of someone said you or I did it and they strung us up because the media told em too and then they found out we were in Albuquerque that week!

  • Conservative Oct 8, 2:31 p.m.

    "Because it takes time to build a case against someone even when you're sure they did it. Because it takes time to prepare a defense (she still has a constitutional right to one, like it or not). " Nauti-dog

    But, but, but all this happens within one hour (40 minutes if you do not count the ad time) on TV!!!

  • scarlett2 Oct 8, 2:25 p.m.

    What a sick sadistic twisted couple, to kill a young mother and cut up her body then toss her out like she was disposeable trash. They both should get the death penalty.

  • In Decisive Oct 8, 2:21 p.m.

    Her charges are piling up. Not just the original charge for first degree murder but now also accessory. We'll see how many total charges there are by the time she gets to trial. She won't be walking away from this crime. At a minimum she'll spend decades in prison and possibly the rest of her life without parole.

  • mrr03 Oct 8, 1:53 p.m.

    I bet a steak dinner that she will never get a life sentence in Wake County. Oh she MAY get 20 years,,but LIFE..no chance..Heck, before all is said and done, the Jury will probably look at her as a victim. Don't believe me..Just watch..Peace

  • vjayd Oct 8, 1:34 p.m.

    @scubagirl. I agree with you 100%. There is no way she should not receive the exact same punishment as her husband. If she does, it only will show how screwed up things are in Raleighs judicial system--though it would not be surprising.

  • Scubagirl Oct 8, 1:17 p.m.

    She is JUST as guilty as he is and hopefully the ONLY walk she will be taking is into a prison cell for the rest of her life.

    {{{{censors apparently didn't like my first attempt)

  • Nauti-dog Oct 8, 1:13 p.m.

    oh my, sounds like she's on her way to walking

    Ven
    =================================

    How so? Did you only read the headline. It's an additional charge on top of murder.

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