Photos show Hayes dumping acid near Texas crime scene
Posted February 6, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Jurors in the first-degree murder trial of Amanda Hayes on Thursday saw surveillance photos of her dumping four cartons – containing seven unopened one-gallon bottles of muriatic acid – at the end of a cul-de-sac near the Richmond, Texas, home of her sister.
Hayes, 41, is accused of first-degree murder and accessory after the fact to murder in the July 13, 2011, death of her husband's ex-girlfriend, Laura Ackerson, whose dismembered remains were found in a creek less than 2 miles from the spot Hayes unloaded the acid.
John T. Schneider – an officer with Fort Bend County Environmental Enforcement in Fort Bend County, Texas, who recovered the photos from his department's camera – said the drop-off was made just after 10 a.m. on July 20, 2011, the last day of Hayes' three-day trip with her husband, Grant Hayes.
Raymond Boyer, an employee at a Home Depot store in Texas, previously testified that, on July 19, 2011, Grant Hayes bought four containers of muriatic acid that he was insistent about using to remove the odor of a wild hog from a pig pen.
Wake County prosecutors say Amanda Hayes told her sister that she killed Ackerson, 27, in the Hayeses' third-floor Raleigh apartment and that the couple then cut up her body and dumped it in the creek six days later.
An autopsy determined Ackerson died of "undetermined homicidal violence," but she had a sharp puncture wound to the fourth cervical vertebra of the spine as well as crushed thyroid cartilage that was consistent with some type of asphyxia or blunt force trauma to the neck.
But defense attorneys say their client had no knowledge of Ackerson's death and that she confessed when she did find out about it – still thinking it was accidental – only because Grant Hayes had threatened to kill her.
Grant Hayes, 34, was convicted of the crime in September and is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.