WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A woman convicted of beheading her ex-boyfriend’s mother has lost her appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court. On Friday morning, the Kansas Supreme Court affirmed Rachael Hilyard’s conviction and sentence.
In 2020, a Sedgwick County jury convicted Hilyard of the 2017 murder of 63-year-old Micki Davis. Davis and her grandson went to Hilyard’s home in the 1400 block of West Rita, Wichita, to get some of her son’s belongings. While there, Hilyard says she argued with Davis over a painting.
When Hilyard attacked Davis, the 9-year-old grandson ran to Davis’ truck, grabbed her phone and called 911 as he ran away. Police arrived and found Davis decapitated in the garage. Hilyard was in the home.
Hilyard took the stand during the trial and said she did not remember how the two got into the garage or how the fight started.
When Hilyard’s attorney asked her if she did cut the woman’s head off, Hilyard said yes and explained, “Because I didn’t have much time and her soul needed to get out so she could go to heaven, her soul needed to get out.”
The defense attorney said that Hilyard killed Davis, but there was no premeditation.
The jury convicted Hilyard of first-degree murder, and the judge sentenced her to the Hard-50.
In appealing her conviction and sentence, Hilyard claimed there was insufficient evidence, jury instruction error, prosecutorial error, ineffective assistance of counsel and abuse of discretion by the Sedgwick County District Court.
The Kansas Supreme Court heard the case during a special evening session in a Great Bend ballroom on April 6.
On Friday, the Supreme Court announced it found no error and Hilyard’s conviction and sentence will stand.
Hilyard is now 40 and being held in the Topeka Correctional Facility. Her earliest possible release date is April 2067.