UPDATE: Dalton Hayes found not guilty for second degree rape

Published: May. 3, 2017 at 9:39 AM CDT
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After waiting over two years for Dalton Hayes' trial, the man who's accused of several crimes while crossing state lines with the 13-year-old minor, the jury found Hayes not guilty of second degree rape.

The trial for Dalton Hayes continued into day two on Wednesday. Hayes was originally charged with second degree rape and custodial interference.

Over two years ago, Hayes was a runaway teen accused of multiple crimes in several places after two weeks on the run with a minor.

Hayes and the 13-year-old girl were found in January 2015 in Panama City Beach, Florida.

The minor testified in the case saying she did have sex with Hayes back in 2014 at his mother's home. The minor also stated that Hayes knew her age when the crime happened back in November of 2014. The minor was 13 at the time while Hayes was 18.

Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins took the stand in the second day after the minor testified. A recording was played which appears to have Dalton Hayes telling Sheriff Chaffins that the minor told Hayes she was 19 when they met, therefore not knowing her true age during 2014.

Geneticist Dr. Michael Baird, who oversees the DNA Diagnostic Center, took the stand to discuss the DNA testing done to determine the father of the minor's baby.

Dr. Baird said the results of the test found Dalton Hayes to be the biological father.

After a break, the defense took the floor for closing arguments.

A picture of the minor at the time the crime was allegedly committed was passed around with the defense addressing how old she looked to the jury, and claimed Hayes ran with the 13-year-old girl after he found out her true age, but that they were in love at the time.

The Commonwealth took the floor and questioned what being in love truly meant between Hayes and the minor, and asked the jury to use their "good common sense" when deliberating.

"At the end of the day, all it's going to boil down to, is your good common sense."

The jury came to a final verdict within two to three hours. Once the Grayson County Circuit Court Judge stated that Dalton Hayes has been found not guilty of second degree rape, Dalton Hayes' mother, Tammy Martin, and his oldest sister, Heather Martin, says they're ecstatic that justice swung in Hayes' favor.

"This was our biggest hurdle. Our biggest hurdle to get through was getting him home, and we're almost there," Heather Martin stated.

"We're very excited. We feel like justice has been served," Tammy Martin added.

"Of course he still has other pending charges, and we will work through those as we go, but this was the biggest charge and this is what carried, you know, the most and, carried so many penalties with it. But, now that he's got past this, the other to us is just a breeze. We've got two and a half years in. That's a lot of time to put towards another charge," Heather Martin stated.

Dalton Hayes still has more charges to face in the future.

The next time Hayes will appear in court will be May 23, 2017 for a pretrial conference.

That day should conclude when his next trial will be, which will cover his custodial interference charge.