Raleigh, N.C. — A Wake County Superior Court judge on Thursday set a tentative trial date for a Raleigh man and his wife who are accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, dismembering her body and disposing of it in a Texas creek.
Grant Ruffin Hayes, 33, and Amanda Perry Hayes, 40, are both charged with first-degree murder in the July 2011 death of Laura Jean Ackerson, 27, of Kinston.
Judge Donald Stephens set the date for a trial for the week of May 20. In February, he will hear a motion from the state asking that both defendants be tried together.
Ackerson is believed to have been in Raleigh before she was reported missing in July 2011. Her remains were found July 24, 2011, in a creek in Richmond, Texas, about 60 miles south of Houston.
Raleigh police haven't commented on a motive, but Ackerson's relatives say she and Grant Hayes were involved in a contentious custody battle over the two sons they had together.