Man Pleads Not Guilty To Killing Kinston Woman In 2011

Grant & Amanda Hayes

A Wake County man has pleaded not guilty to killing and dismembering a Kinston woman who is the mother of two of his children.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports ( ) that 33-year-old Grant Hayes entered his plea Friday. He's scheduled to be tried later this month for the death of Laura Ackerson, whose body parts were pulled from a Texas creek in July 2011.

Forty-year-old Amanda Hayes is also charged with murder. The Hayes' were a couple but not married. She is scheduled to be tried separately in January. Ackerson's body was found near her sister's home.

It is unclear how Ackerson died. Her autopsy report lists her cause of death as "undetermined homicidal violence."

Her family members say Grant Hayes and Ackerson were in a bitter custody battle.