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Opening statements begin in Grant Hayes murder trial

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Grant Hayes Grant Hayes
Amanda Hayes Amanda Hayes
Laura Ackerson Laura Ackerson
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Opening statements began Thursday in the trial of a Raleigh man accused of killing his former girlfriend.

Sitting in a Wake County courtroom, Grant Hayes wore a white shirt, and smiled and chatted with others in the courtroom before the proceedings began.

Hayes and his wife Amanda are accused of killing Laura Jean Ackerson, of Kinston, in the summer of 2011. Parts of Ackerson's body were found in a Texas creek in July 2011 near the home of Hayes' sister-in-law.

Search warrants showed that Hayes and his wife had documents in their home that indicated they "possessed a saw."

The prosecution told the jury, "You are going to find that man guilty of dismembering her body."

The prosecution explained that the jury would hear how Grant Hayes bought a saw.

Police have said Ackerson was murdered and dismembered in Raleigh, and then her body parts were driven to Texas.

In court Thursday, prosecutors spoke in gruesome detail about the state of her remains when  found.  

Hayes's defense attorney pinned the crime on his wife Amanda. Amanda Hayes will face trial in the new year.

"This case is about a man covering up his wife's actions," the defense said.

In pretrial motions earlier this month, Grant Hayes pleaded not guilty in Ackerson's murder.

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