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N.C. woman guilty of helping dispose of body in Fort Bend County

August 25, 2018

A North Carolina woman was convicted this week of helping her husband dispose of his ex-girlfriend’s dismembered body, first trying to dissolve it in acid, then throwing it into an alligator-infested Fort Bend County creek.

Both attempts to hide the body failed, the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s office said Friday. Investigators found the torso and lower leg of 27-year-old Laura Ackerson floating in Oyster Creek in Richmond on July 24, 2011. More of Ackerson’s remains were later found by dive teams.

Ackerson was murdered by Grant Hayes and Amanda Perry Hayes in the couple’s Raleigh, N.C., apartment in 2011, the DA’s office said. She was last known to be going to the Hayes home to pick up two sons she shared with Grant Hayes.

The couple killed her, cut up her body, packed parts into coolers and then drove to the Richmond home of Amanda Hayes’ sister.

“Once in Richmond, the couple first attempted to use muriatic acid to destroy Ackerson’s body,” the press release states. “When that didn’t work, they took a boat onto Oyster Creek and dumped Laura’s body parts into the water with hopes that alligators would eat her remains.”

In North Carolina, Amanda Hayes has already been convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to at least 13 years in prison. Grant Hayes was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Amanda Hayes testified in her Fort Bend County trial that she did not kill Ackerson and that her husband threatened her if she did not help him dispose of Ackerson’s body.

A jury convicted Amanda Hayes of tampering with evidence, a second-degree felony. Judge Maggie Jaramillo of the 400th District Court sentenced her to serve 20 years in prison, consecutive to the North Carolina sentence.

“The jury verdict was swift and the Court’s sentence was appropriately harsh,” said lead prosecutor Amanda Bolin. “Laura Ackerson’s family can be assured that Amanda Hayes will be punished for all of her barbaric behavior — whether it was in North Carolina or the great state of Texas.”

dana.burke@chron.com

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