Grant Hayes, the Raleigh musician convicted in late 2013 of killing and dismembering his ex-girlfriend and mother of his children, has lost his appeal for a new trial.
Today the North Carolina Court of Appeals published a unanimous opinion rejecting each of Hayes’ legal arguments. The judges declared that Hayes received a fair trial.
Hayes is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. His trial drew intense media coverage, partly because his wife, Amanda, was also charged and convicted with the murder.
For its 9/3/14 cover story
, the INDY
profiled Ann Ross, the N.C. State forensic anthropologist whose expertise in human remains proved vital in solving the case.
Hayes had appealed his conviction on several grounds. He argued that evidence of drug use, mental, illness, and a statement that he wanted to “obliterate” the victim, among other things, was inadmissible; that the State’s portrayal of Hayes as an angry, selfish, liar, compared to the victim’s portrayal as a sympathetic, good-hearted mother was prejudicial; that the opinion of three pathologists that the victim's death was a “homicide” was inadmissible; and that graphic lyrics to one of his songs were inadmissible. (The lyrics to “Man Killer” include: “I’ll put my hands on your throat and squeeze.”)
The Court of Appeals judges rejected each of Hayes’ arguments.