RALEIGH: Hayes says husband threatened her into disposing body - WNCN: News, Weather

Amanda Hayes says husband threatened her into disposing body

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Amanda Hayes tells jurors that her husband threatened her into disposing of Laura Ackerson's body. Amanda Hayes tells jurors that her husband threatened her into disposing of Laura Ackerson's body.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A Raleigh woman accused of killing her husband's ex-girlfriend took the witness stand Tuesday, telling jurors her husband forced her to get rid of the body.

Amanda Perry Hayes, 41, is charged with first-degree murder in the July 2011 death of Laura Jean Ackerson. Ackerson was the ex-girlfriend of Hayes' husband, Grant Hayes, who was found guilty last year for his role in Ackerson's death.

Prosecutors say Grant and Amanda Hayes lured Ackerson to their apartment in 2011, killed her, dismembered her and dumped her remains in a Texas creek, where Amanda Hayes had family.

The prosecution rested Monday, and on Tuesday, Amanda Hayes took the witness stand, telling jurors that Grant Hayes threatened her into getting rid of the body.

"He told me that I had to help him figure out how to get rid of this body or else none of us were making it back to North Carolina -- to Raleigh," Amanda Hayes said.

Amanda Hayes' attorney, Johnny Gaskins, argued her participation was against her will, going so far as to call her a "victim" in the case.

Calling Grant Hayes a controlling sociopath, the defense claimed Amanda Hayes had no idea Ackerson was killed until she was asked to help dispose of the body. And her husband threatened her with a machete unless she complied.

Amanda Hayes pleaded not guilty in December to Ackerson's murder. Grant Hayes is serving life in prison.

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