Psychologist: Hayes, husband wanted Ackerson 'erased' from her kids' lives
Posted February 10, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Amanda Hayes saw her life as a stay-at-home mom of three young children who, along with her musician husband, Grant Hayes, would live in Nashville and travel the world as a family.
But a recommendation that the Hayeses split custody of the two young sons Grant Hayes had with his ex-girlfriend, Laura Ackerson, would mean more interaction and frequent custody exchanges that would hamper any plans the Hayeses had.
That’s according to Wake County prosecutors trying Amanda Hayes on charges of first-degree murder and accessory after the fact to murder in Ackerson’s July 13, 2011, death.
Clinical psychologist Ginger Calloway, who performed a court-ordered psychological evaluation as part of Ackerson’s custody fight with her ex, testified Friday that the Hayeses wanted full custody of the 2- and 3-year-old boys and that their wishes, comments and actions suggested that they "would effectively erase Laura as the children's mother."
"There was a collective insensitivity to the children's needs for their mother," Calloway said.
That was part of the reason, she said, she had advised a family court judge that the children should have shorter and more frequent visits with both their parents instead of spending most of their time with their father and stepmother.
Calloway also testified that, despite Grant Hayes’ assertions that Ackerson was mentally unstable and “poisoned” the children’s minds, it was him whom she recommended in her report see a psychiatrist about a possible mood disorder "or other possible explanations for the illogical, disturbed thinking that he exhibits.”
Although charismatic and charming, Calloway said, Grant Hayes appeared to self-medicate with alcohol, cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs and admitted to suffering from depression and having suicidal thoughts.
At one point in his life, she said, he unsuccessfully sought medication for borderline personality disorder, which he became convinced he had after reading about it in a book.
Grant Hayes also engaged in anti-social behaviors and indicated that he had difficulties with the law, Calloway testified on cross-examination by the defense.
Her findings support their contention that Grant Hayes was a sociopath who lied to and manipulated his wife throughout their two-year relationship, especially when it came to Ackerson's death.
Amanda Hayes, the defense says, did not know Ackerson had died, didn't know Grant Hayes – convicted of murder last year – killed her and only helped dispose of Ackerson's dismembered remains because he threatened her and their children – including their 1-month-old daughter.
But the state, which indicated that it could rest its case Monday, says Amanda Hayes was resentful of Ackerson and not only killed her in the couple's third-floor Raleigh apartment but admitted to doing so.