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Raleigh man accused of murder fires attorney

Citing "good cause," a Raleigh man accused of killing and dismembering his ex-girlfriend asked a judge Thursday to appoint him a new public defender.

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Grant Hayes
RALEIGH, N.C. — A Raleigh man accused of killing and dismembering his ex-girlfriend has fired his attorney.

During a hearing Thursday in Wake County Superior Court, Jim Freeman filed a handwritten motion and letter from Grant Ruffin Hayes asking a judge to relieve Freeman as counsel.

Freeman cited "good cause" for the dismissal but said he could not elaborate why.

Hayes, who will be appointed a new public defender, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Laura Jean Ackerson.

Ackerson, 27, was last seen July 13 in Raleigh, where she was dropping off the two children she shares with Hayes.

She was reported missing five days later, and her remains were found July 24 in a creek in Richmond, Texas, about 60 miles south of Houston.

Hayes' wife, Amanda Perry Hayes, 39, is also charged with first-degree murder.

Raleigh police haven't commented on a motive, but Ackerson's relatives say she and Hayes were involved in a child custody battle.


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