Local News

Exclusive: Photo shows knife found in Ackerson slaying

Posted December 31, 2013

WRAL News has obtained this exclusive photo of a knife found in December 2013 during a search of the vehicle that belonged to Grant and Amanda Hayes. Hayes is serving a life sentence in the death of his ex-girlfriend, Laura Ackerson, and Amanda Hayes is charged with first-degree murder. The judge has ordered the knife be tested for DNA.

— WRAL News has obtained an exclusive photo of a knife that was found during a December 2013 police search of a vehicle owned by Grant and Amanda Hayes.

Grant Hayes was convicted in September of the July 2011 death and dismemberment of his ex-girlfriend, Laura Ackerson. He is serving a life sentence. His wife, Amanda Hayes, is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 20 on a first-degree murder charge in the case.

Defense attorneys contend the knife, which was hidden in the center console of the Dodge Durango, shows that Grant Hayes committed the crime and Amanda Hayes was under duress and in fear for her life.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway has asked both prosecutors and the defense to determine a plan for testing the knife for DNA.

Johnny Gaskins, who is Hayes' attorney, said the State Bureau of Investigation will test the knife first, and his experts will have a chance to do the same.



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  • PDMARTIN Jan 2, 2014

    Maybe she waited until now because she was afraid and worried he may turn on her if it was brought out before now.

  • LKG-Lover Jan 2, 2014

    She could not have been threatened over all the days it took to kill, dismember and transfer the body to Texas without a single opprotunity to escape. The knife was obviously not in a place where it was readily accessible or the search would have found it sooner. So her claim of being threatened just doesn't cut it for me. She was in it to help Grant eliminate the child support he was paying and allow him to move away from NC. That is what they wanted, money and freedom. They will now sacrafice both if there is any justice left in this state.

  • ziva Dec 31, 2013

    What kind of search was done, and by whom when the vehicle was originally obtained....It has been sitting in the CERTER console for over 2 years and they just found it?????

  • HANS FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! JK Dec 31, 2013

    @davisgw, it raises questions but not about the crime lab's competence. They analyze, CSI's collect. Furthermore, the presence of the knife and/or his DNA on it doesn't have to do more than create a reasonable doubt where she's concerned.

  • davisgw Dec 31, 2013

    I think the more important question s how/why was the knife not found during the first forensics search of the vehicle. This brings into question the crime labs competence and reliability. Also the presence of the knife does not exonerate her or show that she was being threatened in any way.