Husband and wife Grant and Amanda Hayes had already been found guilty for the 2011 murder of Grant's ex-wife Laura Ackerson, but grisly details about the killing are still emerging in the case. The most recent developments describe the gruesome lengths the two went to dispose of Ackerson's body, including attempts to dissolve her body with acid and to throw it into an alligator-infested creek to rid themselves of the evidence of their crime.
Investigators revealed that the evidence pointed towards Grant and Amanda killing and dismembering Laura in North Carolina and that her body parts were later stuffed in ice chests and moved to Richmond, Texas. The city, which was home to Amanda's sister, was where the two decided to use muriatic acid to destroy their victim's body parts. When that plan failed, they went to Oyster Creek, a rough 100 yards from the sister's residence, and dumped the dismembered body parts in the hope that the alligators would consume them.
Authorities say Ackerson's head was severed from the torso, which itself was found in two pieces, and that the arms and legs had been cut from the body. The other body parts would continue washing ashore in the next several weeks. Investigators discovered that the body was Ackerson's and its horrific condition meant that even the state's chief medical examiner was unable to determine how she died. Her death was ruled as "undetermined homicidal violence" and Grant and Amanda were subsequently arrested in connection to the murder. Amanda's sister, however, was not charged.
A Texas jury would be responsible for deciding the verdict. It was Amanda's fate on the line, with the 46-year-old former actress indicted for the tampering of evidence. The jury did not take too long to deliberate and find her guilty, with presiding Fort Bend County District Judge Maggie Jaramillo sentencing her to 20 years in prison. It was the maximum possible sentence under Texas law.
According to Huffington Post, Assistant District Attorney Amanda Bolin addressed the sentencing and said, "The jury verdict was swift, and the court’s sentence was appropriately harsh. 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."
Grant was previously found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his ex-wife in 2013 and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Amanda, who has appeared in 'The Sopranos' and the remake of 'The Stepford Wives,' was similarly found guilty by a jury despite her claims otherwise and was sentenced to 13-16 years in prison by the same judge from her husband's trial.
Her 20-year sentencing from Jaramillo came with the added caveat that it would run consecutively to Hayes’ North Carolina sentence. This means that she won’t be credited for any of her Texas time until she serves her North Carolina sentence and is brought back to Texas and incarcerated. At the earliest, she will only see the outside world when she is 82-years-old.