Kansas Supreme Court Affirms Conviction of Woman who Decapitated Ex-Boyfriend’s Mother While Alive

The Kansas Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction and sentencing of a woman who perpetrated a brutal attack, resulting in the beheading of her ex-boyfriend’s mother during a heated altercation in 2017.

In a detailed 27-page judicial opinion, Rachael Hilyard’s attorneys raised several points in their appeal of her first-degree murder conviction, citing issues such as insufficient evidence to support premeditation, erroneous jury instruction, ineffective legal representation, prosecutorial misconduct, and alleged abuse of discretion by the district court.

However, the court found ample evidence in the record to uphold the finding of premeditation, dismissing the challenges raised by Hilyard’s defense team.

As reported by KAKE-TV, Hilyard was found guilty in September 2020 and handed a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 50 years, commonly known as a “hard 50” sentence.

According to the court’s opinion, the tragic incident occurred in April 2017 when the victim, 63-year-old Micki Davis, accompanied by her 9-year-old grandson referred to as J.G., visited Hilyard’s residence. J.G.’s parents were Hilyard and Davis’ son, Jeremy Rush.

The altercation escalated after Hilyard called Davis to retrieve Rush’s belongings, threatening to discard them outside. Upon Davis’s arrival, a confrontation ensued, during which Hilyard allegedly shoved Davis from behind.

J.G., who witnessed the altercation, sought refuge in his grandmother’s truck and eventually contacted 911 from a neighbor’s house. Wichita Police responded to the scene, discovering a gruesome sight upon entry into Hilyard’s residence.

One officer discovered a female body in a pool of blood, notably missing its head, while another officer found Hilyard on the bathroom floor and subsequently placed her under arrest. Further investigation uncovered Davis’s severed head in the kitchen sink, along with two blood-stained kitchen knives nearby.

The autopsy revealed extensive bruising and fractured ribs on Davis’s body, indicating sustained physical trauma before her death. The coroner concluded that Davis had suffered multiple stab wounds to the neck, suggesting a prolonged and agonizing ordeal.

Disturbingly, the presence of blood in Davis’s lungs suggested that she may have still been breathing when her throat was slashed, underscoring the brutality of the attack.

Forensic evidence collected at the scene strongly indicated that Davis was likely alive during the decapitation process, further intensifying the horror of the crime.

Initially deemed unfit to stand trial, Hilyard underwent treatment and subsequent evaluation, ultimately deemed competent to proceed with legal proceedings.