Slain woman's ex-boyfriend, wife indicted

Grant Ruffin Hayes and Amanda Hayes booking photos (Images courtesy Wake County Sheriff's Office)
August 8, 2011 1:51:06 PM PDT
The Wake County grand jury has indicted Laura Ackerson's ex-boyfriend and his wife on murder charges.

The indictment, handed down Monday afternoon, states that Grant R Hayes III aka Grant Haze and Amanda P. Hayes "unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did of malice aforethought kill and murder Laura Jean Ackerson."

Click here to read the indictments

Ackerson's dismembered body was found on July 24 in Oyster Creek near Richmond, Texas. The 27-year-old Kinston mother had been reported missing on July 18.

Hours after she was initially discovered, Raleigh police arrested 32-year-old Grant Hayes, the father of Ackerson's two sons, and his wife, 39-year-old Amanda in Kinston.

Texas deputies have said they believe Ackerson was killed in North Carolina and then dismembered.

"It's one of the most gruesome scenes I've seen in 30-something years of law enforcement," said Chief Deputy Craig Brady of the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators found several ice chests at scene and said it's likely the coolers were used to transport body parts in a rented U-Haul from North Carolina to Texas.

Amanda Hayes' family owns a home near where the body parts were found.

Brady said the motive for the alleged killing remains unclear.

"I don't know if it was planned homicide or just tempers flared," Brady said. "I can't imagine someone being that cold and just uncaring that after the murder they took the steps of dismembering this lady in the matter they did and tossing her in a creek."

Investigators say Ackerson last saw her children, who lived with their father in Raleigh, on July 13.

The 27-year-old was supposed to pick them up again the following Friday at a meeting spot in Wilson, but Hayes said she never showed up. That's according to Hayes' mother.

A coworker contacted police when Ackerson didn't show up for work the next Monday.

Ackerson's 2006 white Ford Focus was found Wednesday near an apartment building at 5400 Summit Manor Lane in north Raleigh. Ackerson, Hayes, and their children once lived at the complex and a woman living there told ABC11 Hayes' current home is not far away.

Ackerson and Hayes have been involved in a custody battle over their children for more than a year. Hayes was granted primary custody of the children in 2010.

Her family says even before Ackerson was reported missing, she was estranged from the family because, they say, Grant Hayes kept her away.

"Very controlling and very manipulative," Ackerson's brother Jason Ackerson said. "It was hard to contact her without her getting in fear of her life her ex-boyfriend. And we should have taken the threats more seriously. Grant Hayes and his wife are monsters," Jason Ackerson said. "And I hope that anybody that knows them or has followed them and enjoyed his music understands that about them."

Grant Hayes is a local musician in Raleigh, who is known by the stage name, Grant Haze - which Monday's indictment notes. According to social networking sites, he and his wife recently had a child together.

In a video posted online of Grant Hayes, he claimed his wife is an actress.

"She's been in some movies and TV shows and she's also a guitar player and I'm her instructor," Hayes said in the video.

The couple married last year and have a daughter together who was born in June.

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