Trial strategy revealed in Grant Hayes murder case


The new information came out during a pre-trial hearing for Grant Hayes at the Wake County Justice Center Friday afternoon.

Grant Hayes' attorneys want his sister-in-law to testify and say it was Grant's wife, Amanda, who killed Laura Ackerson.

Ackerson was the mother of Grant Hayes' two oldest children and she had lost custody of them to Hayes and his wife, who also had a newborn baby of their own. Ackerson was fighting in court to get her kids back when her body parts were found in a Texas creek two years ago.

Investigators say Grant and Amanda killed Ackerson, cut her body in pieces, put it in coolers and loaded it into a U-Haul trailer. They claim the couple then loaded up the kids and dragged the trailer on a family vacation to Amanda's sister's house in Texas where the body parts were dumped.

Now, Grant Hayes' attorneys want Amanda's sister to testify for Grant saying she relayed a conversation in which Amanda allegedly said she killed Ackerson.

"She told me that Laura told her that because she took her kids, she was going to take her baby from her," said Grant Hayes' attorney William Durham. "She told me that that she shoved her. She said, 'I hurt her bad.' Those are statements against interest. Those are statements saying 'I hurt Laura,' and she later says that she says Laura was dead."

It is still unclear whether Amanda Hayes' sister will testify in Grant's trial, which begins a week Aug. 26.

The judge says he will wait until trial, possibly hearing from Amanda Hayes' sister outside the presence of the jury, before deciding whether she can testify.

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