WJTV News Channel 12 - Ackerson's father pleased Grant Hayes convicted of murder

Ackerson's father pleased Grant Hayes convicted of murder

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Grant Hayes was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of his ex-girlfriend, Laura Ackerson. Grant Hayes was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of his ex-girlfriend, Laura Ackerson.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A Wake County jury found Grant Hayes guilty of first-degree murder Monday morning, taking only an hour and a half to send him to prison for the rest of his life.

Prosecutors say the Raleigh man and his wife Amanda, lured Hayes' ex-girlfriend Laura Ackerson to their apartment in 2011, killed her, and dismembered her body. Her remains were found dumped in a Texas creek, where Amanda had family. The motive, say investigators, was a custody dispute over the two children Hayes had with Ackerson.

During the trial prosecutors showed the jury video of Grant Hayes buying a high-powered saw at a Walmart. Its believed he used the saw to dispose of Ackerson.

The defense had argued Amanda Hayes did the killing and Grant Hayes simply helped cover it up. In the end, the jury didn't buy it.

"A jury verdict in an hour and a half speaks louder than anything anyone can say," Judge Donald Stephens said after the verdict.

Stephens sentenced Hayes to life in prison without parole, and Hayes was handcuffed without showing any emotion. Hayes did not address the court after the verdict.

Outside the courtroom Monday, defense attorney Will Durham said, "We are obviously disappointed."

Meanwhile, Roger Ackerson, Laura's father, spoke with WNCN about the outcome.

"Take a person who has no conscience -- no concept of even what he has done -- and put him behind bars and leave him there for the rest of his life? Good," Ackerson said.

He continued, "I will never get my little girl back. But at the same time, when I bury her when I get back [home], at least I'll be able to say, 'Hey, we got the guy that got you.'"

The defense said it planned to appeal.

Amanda Hayes faces trial for murder in January.

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