Grant Hayes Guilty Of First Degree Murder In Kinston Mom's Death

A Wake County jury has found Grant Hayes guilty of first degree murder.

That verdict was read around 11:30 a.m.

Jurors took just 90 minutes in this high profile case this morning to reach a verdict.

Hayes was accused of killing Laura Ackerson, the mother of his two children, cutting her body up and then driving to Texas to dispose it in a creek.

Ackerson, who was from Kinston, was involved in a bitter child custody case over the couple's two young children.

The judge immediately sentenced Hayes to life in prison without parole.

The man's attorney said they will appeal this morning's verdict.


Jurors are deciding the fate of a Raleigh musician who is accused of killing and then cutting up the body of his ex-girl friend from Kinston.

Grant Hayes is accused of killing Laura Ackerson, the mother of his two children, cutting her body up and then driving to Texas to dispose it in a creek.

Two weeks of testimony in the trial ended Friday morning without Hayes taking the witness stand.

His lawyers claim that the man's wife, Amanda Hayes, actually killed the woman. The admit that Grant Hayes may have helped dispose of the body.

But prosecutors say it doesn't matter who killed Ackerson. Boz Zellinger says they have proved Hayes had the motive and opportunity to kill the woman.

Hayes could get life in prison if convicted of first degree murder.

Amanda Hayes' trial is scheduled for January.


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A Raleigh musician, who is accused of killing a Kinston mother, did not take the witness stand as his trial winds down.

Grant Hayes is accused of killing Laura Ackerson, the mother of his two children, cutting her body up and then driving to Texas to dispose it in a creek.

Lawyers for both sides gave their closing arguments to the jury at the Wake County Courthouse Friday afternoon.

Police say Hayes, along with his wife Amanda, killed Ackerson at their Raleigh apartment. Amanda Hayes will stand trial separately.

Hayes' lawyers told jurors that their client did not kill his children's mother. Instead they put the blame on Amanda Hayes. "You were told on the first day that this case is about a man covering up for his wife's actions," said defense attorney Will Durham. "The state has not proven anything different."

But prosecutors say it doesn't matter who killed Ackerson. Boz Zellinger says they have proved Hayes had the motive and opportunity to kill the woman. "This saw cut someone in half and then he cut her head off and put it in coolers," Zellinger told jurors. "This defendant had so much malice that he sawed the mother of his children's legs off."

Grant Hayes was involved in a child custody dispute with Ackerson. He was charged with first degree murder, but the judge will allow jurors to also consider second degree murder as well as not guilty as possible verdicts.

Jurors will begin their deliberations on Monday.


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After several weeks of testimony, the prosecution has ended its case against a Raleigh man who is accused of killing the mother of his children, cutting up her body and then driving to Texas to dispose of her body.

Prosecutors ended their case against Grant Hayes by showing video of him shopping for a reciprocating saw at Walmart at 2:00 a.m.

That was eight or nine hours after authorities say Laura Ackerson of Kinston was murdered. The two were in a hotly contested child custody case for their two boys at the time.

According to police, the woman was killed at Hayes' Raleigh apartment. They say her body was then cut up, placed in coolers and then dumped in a Texas creek.

The video from Walmart shows Hayes purchasing the saw, gloves and goggles.

It's unknown just how long the defense will take to present its case.

During opening statements two weeks ago, Hayes' attorneys claimed the man's wife, Amanda Hayes, killed Ackerson during an argument in the apartment and that the husband was just trying to cover up the crime.

Amanda Hayes is being tried separately.


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