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Psychologist: Hayes, husband wanted Ackerson 'erased' from her kids' lives

Posted February 10, 2014

— 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.

Ann Ross Amanda Hayes murder trial testimony (Day 10)

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.



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  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Feb 10, 2014

    CBEARCAT60 -

    Thank you for the information.

    That 72 hours isn't really enough to protect children from a childhood of ~*^%=@~ though is it.

  • cbearcat60 Feb 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Yes, a psychiatrist must report if a person is a threat to themselves or anyone else. The person is then hospitalized for 72-hours to determine if there is a real threat. They cannot hospitalize someone longer than 72 hours unless they determine that there is a threat.

  • Kristin Byrne Feb 10, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I think this is covered in the following newsletter. It was the best explanation of the law that I could find. You bring up a good point. I have a friend who is a psychologist. The next time I see him, I'm going to inquire about the limitations of the law in certain instances.


  • Bobby Medlin Feb 10, 2014
    user avatar

    That is a nice photo of Mrs Akerson with the 2 children.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Feb 10, 2014

    BUSY - "...So if the doctor thought that, why wasn't a recommendation that he not have custody at all?"

    I believe that's why Laura and Grant were headed back to court regarding custody of the boys. He killed her first though.

    But yeah, if someone is a threat to anyone else, they certainly shouldn't have custody of minor children.

    We saw that in the Powell family, where the father is thought to have offed the mother, then had supervised visitation with the two boys, and when a social worker went to his home with the boys, he locked her out, bludgeoned the two little boys with an ax and blew up the house with them all inside.

    More definitely needs to be done to protect the children of people like these.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Feb 10, 2014

    Just wondering -
    Does a psychiatrist or psychological have a legal right to bring someone's aberrant mental condition to the attention of the authorities if the doctor believes that mental condition poses a danger or threat to others?

    Or is this a part of the sanctity of the doctor's office, where doctors must keep the medical records of their patients secret?


    But if there is danger or threat perceived or believed by a trained medical/mental doctor, then I think laws need to be passed to limit the scope of that veil of secrecy.


  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Feb 10, 2014

    "...musician husband..." (More like "musician wannabe husband")
    "...live in Nashville and travel the world as a family..."

    Delusions of grandure for sure.

    Prayers for the children, the only ones that matter now and the only ones that ever should have mattered to Grant and Amanda too.

  • busyb97 Feb 10, 2014

    So if the doctor thought that, why wasn't a recommendation that he not have custody at all? If he is using drugs like that...he shouldn't have been around those kids in the first place.

  • southerntalent Feb 10, 2014

    Living in Nashville and traveling the world?? Has anyone listened to his music on youtube? There was no chance in the real world that Grant Hayes even had a music "career"

  • Janene DiPierro Feb 10, 2014
    user avatar

    Whats more crazy thinking for one minute that she was forced or looking at all the evidence and seeing she helped the whole time?!! I am starting to believe the defense attorney is just as crazy as she is and that she helped him and is back pedaling to not do time in jail!