Rachael Hilyard from Wichita, Kan., has been sentenced to life in prison for beheading her ex-boyfriend’s mother with a pair of kitchen knives in 2017, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday, September 30. Hilyard will have no chance of parole for 50 years.
Hilyard, 38, was sentenced on Tuesday, September 29, in Sedgwick County District Court for the first-degree murder of Micki Davis — who was 63 years old at the time of her death.
During the hearing — which a few members from Davis' family attended in person or watched via Zoom — Hilyard apologized for her actions.
"I feel that even death would be too good for me now. … Every day and every night I am sorry," she said.
On April 9, 2017, Davis was killed after she went to Hilyard’s home at 1426 W. Rita Street to pick up items that belonged to her son, Jacob Gillespie III, following their split.
During Hilyard’s trial, prosecutors argued that she was going to kill Davis all along. However, Hilyard claimed that Davis fell while they were arguing over a painting. As a result, Hilyard cut Davis' head off by using two steak knives because she thought she was dead. Hilyard left her head in the sink.
"The things told me that I didn’t have much time and I had to get her head away from her body so her soul could get free so it could get out and go to heaven," she told the court. Hilyard insisted that she didn’t check to see if Davis was breathing because of "voices in my head."
"God was telling me to do it," she told police after she committed the crime.
Davis and her 9-year-old grandson both went to Hilyard’s home, but he went to get help after the attack started and did not witness his grandmother’s death. Hilyard said that she went to speak to Davis’ grandson — who had run away and hid in a truck — before she beheaded Davis.
Meanwhile, Hilyard suffers from a mental illness. Quentin Pittman, Hilyard’s defense attorney, said in court on Tuesday that a medical expert determined she was not insane, but her competency was questioned multiple times.
In February, a jury convicted Hilyard of first-degree murder.
"Mom didn’t deserve to die the way she did," Jeremy Rush said in court, adding that Davis was one of the "nicest, sweetest people on earth."
"She would give this shirt off her back for anyone in need," another family member told the judge.
"I hate this monster," Rush said, referring to Hilyard, "and I think my mom would be OK with that."