NC: Raleigh man shouldn't get new trial for ex's death
Posted November 10, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — The state of North Carolina on Monday filed its response to a Raleigh man's claims that he did not receive a fair trial for the death of his ex-girlfriend more than three years ago.
Grant Ruffin Hayes, 35, was convicted Sept. 16, 2013, of first-degree murder in the July 13, 2011, death of Laura Jean Ackerson, whose dismembered remains were found in Texas several days after she was reported missing.
In August, Hayes filed an appeal on six points, including arguments that 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.
In its brief Monday, the state maintained there were no errors at Hayes' trial, saying Hayes ignored the context of the evidence in question. It was not to establish truth but to show motive and ill will toward Ackerson, the state contended.
Wake County prosecutors argued last year 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 wife's sister.
Hayes has denied killing Ackerson, saying that he helped cover up her death to protect his wife, Amanda Hayes, who he claims killed Ackerson during an argument.
At her trial earlier this year, however, Amanda Hayes told jurors that she only helped cover up the crime because Grant Hayes threatened her.
She was convicted of second-degree murder and is serving 13 to 16 years in prison.
The couple has since divorced.