Grant Hayes' wife, Amanda, pleads not guilty in Laura Ackerson murder
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Amanda Hayes pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Tuesday to murder and "accessory after the fact of murder" charges in the death of Laura Ackerson.
It comes almost two months after a jury found Amanda's husband, Grant Hayes, guilty of first-degree murder in the killing and dismemberment of Ackerson - who was the mother of his two oldest children.
Grant Hayes blamed Amanda for actually killing Ackerson - saying he only helped dispose of the body.
Hayes - aka Grant Haze - was charged - along with Amanda - with murdering the 27-year-old at their Raleigh apartment in July, 2011 during a long-running custody dispute. Prosecutors say they chopped up Ackerson's body, put it in coolers, and then drove them in a rented U-Haul to Amanda Hayes' sister's house in Richmond, Texas, where the body parts were dumped in a nearby creek.
During Tuesday's hearing, attorneys for Amanda Hayes filed more than a dozen motions -- among them, asking to have the murder charge dismissed.
However, the judge denied the request, along with a motion to pick jurors individually for the trial.
Despite that, the judge did agree to keep a statement that Grant Hayes allegedly made to a friend one month before Ackerson's death, out of court.
The friend said: "While he was there, he told me that Amanda wanted Laura out of the way, wanted her dead, wanted to kill her and wanted to cut her up. He said Amanda was, to use his words, a crazy bit**. He said that he didn't know if Amanda would kill Laura or not," read a prosecutor from a court document Tuesday.
The defense also wanted to exclude inflammatory videos and photos in Amanda Hayes' trial, but the judge said he would deal with those during the trial as they come up.
Amanda Hayes' trial is set for Jan. 20.
Grant Hayes is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
wake county news, homicide, north carolina news, raleigh news, local/state
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