Raleigh couple accused of killing and dismembering Kinston woman will go on trial together

ablythe@newsobserver.comMarch 1, 2013 

— The couple accused of murdering Laura Jean Ackerson, a Kinston woman whose body parts were pulled from a Texas creek in July 2011, are scheduled to be tried together in May.

Grant Hayes, 33, and Amanda Hayes, 40, both of Raleigh, were arrested two years ago, weeks after after Ackerson had been reported missing.

Grant Hayes – a musician who also goes by the last name Haze – and Ackerson were never married, but had two sons. They were involved in an acrimonious custody battle in Lenoir County at the time of her death.

Investigators have contended that at least one of the Hayeses killed Ackerson and hacked her body into pieces. They say the remains were placed in several large coolers and loaded into a rented U-Haul trailer that the couple then towed more than 1,250 miles to the home of Amanda Hayes’ sister near Houston, where they were dumped in a creek about 100 yards from the house.

In Wake County Superior Court on Friday, defense attorneys for the Hayeses did not object to a joint trial. But they reserved the possibility that at some later date they might ask for the cases to be separated.

Blythe: 919-836-4948

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