Local News

NC Appeals Court to hear Raleigh man's bid for new trial

Posted January 20, 2015
Updated January 21, 2015

— A Raleigh man serving life in prison for the grisly death of his ex-girlfriend nearly four years ago will have his bid for a new trial heard Wednesday before a three-member panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Grant Hayes, 35, claims he didn't get a fair trial in 2013 when a Wake County jury found him guilty of first-degree murder in the July 13, 2011, death of Laura Jean Ackerson, whose dismembered remains were discovered days later in a Texas creek.

An appellate attorney for Hayes filed an appeal in August, claiming jurors never should have heard about a psychologist's report that concluded he wanted to "obliterate" Ackerson from his life and that song lyrics talking about an unidentified woman's death were inadmissible.

Prosecutors argued that Hayes lured Ackerson – the mother of two of his children – to his Raleigh apartment, killed her and then tried to cover up the crime by cutting up Ackerson and dumping her body in a creek across the street from the home of his sister-in-law.

Hayes has denied killing Ackerson, saying that he helped cover up her death to protect his then-wife, Amanda Hayes, who he claims killed Ackerson during an argument.

At her trial last year, however, Amanda Hayes told jurors that she only helped cover up the crime because Grant Hayes threatened her.

The case is expected to go before the Court of Appeals at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and will be carried live on WRAL.com. Oral arguments before the court typically last about an hour.


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  • Janene DiPierro Jan 21, 2015
    user avatar

    They both had something to do with it... life for them both!

  • wlbbjb Jan 21, 2015

    He's had more chances than he deserves for the murder of the mother of his children. This is another way to waste taxpayers money. His reasons for asking for retrial have nothing to do with the already proven facts of the case. Enough is enough!

  • cpdtg Jan 21, 2015

    Go away you can rap in prison and have a captive audience

  • Setnitst8 Jan 21, 2015

    What a joke and waste of money.... They should have sentenced him to permanant bedy bye time.

  • hourglas Jan 21, 2015

    Both killers, why the retrial .. just so he can waste more tax dollars, we are already feeding and housing him.....

  • Jack Miller Jan 21, 2015
    user avatar

    Though nobody would condone this grotesque murder, I do agree that testimony from something he said during therepy should not be admissible. I assume that Dr Calloway ordered therepy as part of the co-patenting plan. To utilize this against him is undermining one's ability to genuinely seek help in by a trusted professional. I guess the lesson here folks is don't attempt to get help. It will only bite you later.

  • commonsenseisn't Jan 21, 2015

    Of course he wants a new trial. He has nothing to lose with a new trial. We, the tax payers get stuck with the bill. It is free for him. We are the ones that have to take time from our families and jobs to be on a jury. He gets a guest pass to get out of jail to sit in a court room.
    Who really wins? His lawyers!!! We pay them thousands for their lies!

  • Sean Creasy Jan 21, 2015
    user avatar

    The "evidence" they are complaining about in doesn't effect the fact that he was guilty of killing her so why is this even an issue? In my opinion this is just more tax dollars gone to waste paying for his lawyers...

  • Forthe Newssite Jan 21, 2015
    user avatar

    he's like a bad penny. He's lucky he didn't get the deserved DP......

  • Sean Creasy Jan 21, 2015
    user avatar

    Another prime example of our tax dollars being squandered on a criminal's totally pitiful attempt to get out of the punishment he rightfully deserves... This case shouldn't have even made it this far. He committed the crime and should have to serve every minute of his sentence (which was lenient in my opinion) until the day he dies.