Local News

Husband, wife convicted in grisly Raleigh murder headed for divorce

Posted August 21, 2014

Testifying during her first-degree murder trial on Feb. 11, 2014, Amanda Hayes told jurors she did not kill Laura Ackerson and had no involvement in her July 13, 2011, death.

— A Raleigh woman who says she feared her husband when she helped him cover up the grisly murder of his ex-girlfriend three years ago is asking for a divorce, according to court documents filed this week in Wake County District Court.

Amanda Smith Hayes, 42, and Grant Ruffin Hayes III, 35, were both convicted in the past year of the July 13, 2011, death of Laura Jean Ackerson, whose dismembered remains were recovered 11 days later in a Texas creek.

Prosecutors say the Hayeses, married April 29, 2010, wanted to rid their lives of the 27-year-old Ackerson – the mother of Grant Hayes' two young sons – because of a bitter custody battle.

But at their trials, the couple blamed each other for the crime. Grant Hayes said his wife accidentally killed Ackerson, while Amanda Hayes said he was responsible and that she assisted because he threatened her and the children if she didn't cooperate.

Johnny Gaskins, who represents Amanda Hayes, confirmed that she is seeking a divorce but declined to comment on the matter.

Amanda Hayes was convicted in February of second-degree murder and is serving 13-16 years in prison. She was also indicted in Fort Bend County, Texas, in April on a charge of tampering with a human corpse.

Grant Hayes is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole after being found guilty in September of first-degree murder. He's appealing his conviction, and paperwork on the matter is due next month.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • JustOneGodLessThanU Aug 25, 2014

    Why are these people allowed to get divorced? Shouldn't we have an Amendment to our Constitution to prevent this? I mean, we have all of these "family values" people trying to "protect the sanctity of marriage" with one Amendment, why not create another Amendment to REALLY protect marriage?


  • tarheelfan41 Aug 22, 2014

    View quoted thread

    As per ALWAYS they let the female off easy. All she has to say is the magic words "I was scared" "abuse" "I'm a female." Those work EVERY time. Can anyone remember when a husband wife committed a crime together and the female recieved harsher sentence? Anyone?

  • InTheNo Aug 22, 2014

    Well, darn. I mean that's sad. I hate to see another marriage end like this. The divorce rate is at an all time high. I wish they could have worked through the problems. They say there's nothing in this world a little kindness and compassion can't solve.

  • lynne0312 Aug 22, 2014

    Ridiculous that you're reporting this as news. Who cares?

  • changedmyname Aug 21, 2014

    Shocked!!!Didn't see that coming! (sarcasm)

  • HEELSrocknU Aug 21, 2014

    Who is paying for this?!!!! What difference does it make? I'm sure her prison wife doesn't care that she's married. No way should the taxpayer have to pay for this non-sense!!

  • bobbyj Aug 21, 2014

    such a nice couple I hate to see it when things just don't work out.

  • dollibug Aug 21, 2014

    There must not be enough *news* worthy to be published. The 2 people were both convicted in another person's death. Why on earth would the media think anything concerning either of them is news ?

  • LetsBeFair Aug 21, 2014

    if you thought your problems were bad ...

  • dbgoodyear2010 Aug 21, 2014

    can anyone tell me why this is a newsworthy story?