Wake County prosecutors announced Wednesday they will try Grant Hayes first in the 2011 murder of Kinston mother Laura Ackerson.
The move came after Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens said earlier this week that Hayes and his wife Amanda will be tried separately.
Grant Hayes trial date is set for August 26, but it could be moved up.
Ackerson's remains were found in Oyster Creek near Skinner Lane in Richmond, Texas July 2011. Identification was made through dental records days later. The 27-year-old was reported missing on July 18.
Texas deputies said they believed Ackerson was killed in North Carolina, and then dismembered, before her body was taken to Texas in coolers. The creek where the remains were found is near Amanda Hayes' sister's home.
During a 2011 court hearing, an assistant district attorney told a judge that Grant Hayes wanted Ackerson out of his life.
Ackerson and Hayes had been involved in a custody battle over their children for more than a year. Hayes was later granted primary custody in 2010.
Grant Hayes was a local musician in Raleigh.
Prosecutors said he legally changed the spelling of his last name from Hayes to Haze, so they now refer to him as "Grant Haze, a.k.a. Grant Hayes."
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