RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Grant Hayes lured his ex-girlfriend to her death by exploiting the love she had for their children, prosecutors said Friday during closing arguments at Hayes' murder trial in Wake County.
Hayes killed his former girlfriend Laura Ackerson in July 2011 because he did not want to pay child support, then dismembered her body, packed it in four coolers and drove to Richmond, Texas, where he dumped the remains, authorities said.
Hayes got Ackerman to come to his home by promising to talk to her about child support, Assistant District Attorney Boz Zellinger said.
"Laura Ackerson loved her kids to death. She loved her kids to her own death," Zellinger said. "Grant Hayes knew that, and he tried to control her that night. Now, he's trying to control you with his defense."
Hayes' lawyers said his current wife killed his former girlfriend, and he is only guilty of trying to help her cover up the crime. Amanda Hayes also is charged and is awaiting trial.
"Grant Hayes helped dispose of Laura Ackerson's body because of his wife," defense attorney Will Durham said. "That's a terrible thing — and it's a serious crime, but that's not what this case is about. This case is not about disposing of a body. It's a terrible thing, but it's not murder."
The jury will begin deliberating Monday. Hayes, 34, faces up to life in prison if convicted.