The prosecution pushed in closing arguments Friday for a guilty verdict in the first-degree murder trial of Grant Hayes, saying Hayes had a plan to kill Laura Ackerson.
Grant Hayes' defense has suggested that his wife, Amanda, killed Laura Ackerson. The defense insisted he was involved after the fact. Ackerson's dismembered body was found in a Texas creek in 2001.
"He robbed her of her life. He robbed her of her dignity and he tried to cover it up in every way he could," prosecutor Becky Holt told the jury in a Wake County courtroom.
Holt said Hayes "dismembered her body, drove her across country and threw her in a river so that he could destroy what remained of Laura."
The prosecution told the jury that Hayes was about control and winning.
"This is a case in which the defendant was loosing control," Holt said. "The defendant wanted Laura to just go away."
The defense insisted Hayes didn't kill her. Defense attorney William Durham said, "That would be the dumbest plan in history to have someone come to your house so you could kill them in your home with your children present?"
Durham also said, "They [the prosecution] tell you Grant Hayes wanted to kill Laura because he wanted custody of the kids. But she already gave it."
On Friday, Karen Berry – Amanda's sister - nodded when the prosecutor asked, "And that's when you ask Amanda, ‘Are you covering for him?'"
Berry was asked if she was sure Amanda told her Ackerson was dead and responded, "I'm sure she told me she was dead."
Berry said Amanda Hayes never told her anything about hurting Ackerson.
"She never told me anything about him hurting her other than when she shook her head and told me she was covering for him – that's the only time."