Raleigh couple sued over Kinston mom's slaying
Posted July 11, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — The father of a 27-year-old Kinston woman whose remains were found in a Texas creek nearly two years ago filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday against the Raleigh couple accused of killing her.
Grant Ruffin Hayes, 33, and Amanda Perry Hayes, 41, are each charged with first-degree murder in the death of Laura Jean Ackerson, who was reported missing July 15, 2011.
Her dismembered body was found nine days later in Richmond, Texas, about 60 miles south of Houston, near the home of a relative of Amanda Hayes.
Ackerson was Grant Hayes' ex-girlfriend and the mother of two of his children. She was last known to be in Raleigh on July 13, 2011.
The lawsuit, filed in Lenoir County on behalf of Rodger Ackerson, claims Ackerson "suffered mental and physical anguish" as a result of the defendants' actions, but it does not offer a motive for her death.
Family members have previously said that Ackerson and Grant Hayes were involved in a child custody dispute.
Grant Hayes is expected to go to trial Aug. 26, and Amanda Hayes' trial is scheduled for mid-January.
Court documents filed by attorneys for Amanda Hayes indicate that she was scared of her husband and was coerced into helping him dispose of Ackerson's body.