A lawyer for a Raleigh musician on trial for the murder of his ex-girlfriend told jurors Thursday that Grant Hayes may have helped dispose of the woman's body, but he didn't kill her.
After three and a half days of jury selection, opening statements in the Hayes murder trial got underway in Wake County.
Hayes, along with his wife Amanda, are accused of killing Laura Ackerson of Kinston, dismembering her body, and then driving it to Texas during a family vacation where it was dumped in a creek.
Ackerson was the mother of Hayes' two young children and the two were in the middle of a custody fight involving them.
Will Durham, who is representing Hayes, told jurors what his client did was terrible. "Grant helped clean-up, he helped dispose of the body. That was terrible, but not murder," said Durham.
But prosecutors say the Raleigh man is guilty of murder. They told jurors that in July of 2011 Ackerson came to the man's Raleigh apartment to visit her kids. She was never seen again.
"Six hours after Laura went to his apartment Grant walks into Wal-Mart to buy tarps, goggles, cleaning supplies, and a Skil reciprocating saw with 6" blades," said prosecutor Boz Zellinger.
The trial is expected to last several weeks. Amanda Hayes will be tried separately.
Testimony has begun in the trial of a Raleigh man who is accused of cutting up the body of his two children's mother.
Grant Hayes and his wife Amanda are accused of killing Laura Ackerson back in July 2011, dismembering her, and then loading coolers with body parts in the rental truck bound for Texas.
The woman's remains were found in a creek near the home of Amanda Hayes' sister in Richmond, Texas.
The 27-year-old Ackerson lived in Kinston and was the mother of Hayes' two young children. The couple, who were never married, were undergoing a custody fight in court.
Jury selection took three and a half days, while the trial itself could last several weeks.
Hayes' wife will be tried separately.