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Court rejects appeal of Wichita woman convicted in beheading


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday upheld the conviction and sentence of a Wichita woman accused of beheading her ex-boyfriend’s mother.

Rachael Hilyard, 40, was convicted in 2020 of first-degree murder in the killing 63-year-old Micki Davis three years earlier. She was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 50 years.

Prosecutors said Davis was killed after she and her grandson went to Hilyard’s home in Wichita to collect some of her son's belongings. She was attacked as the 9-year-old boy ran for help. Police found Davis decapitated in the garage.

Hilyard testified during her trial that she did not remember the attack. She said she decapitated Davis because "her soul needed to get out so she could go to heaven.”

In her appeal, Hilyard claimed she was convicted based on insufficient evidence, incorrect jury instruction, prosecutorial error, ineffective counsel and abuse of discretion by the Sedgwick County District Court.

The Supreme Court on Friday announced it had found no error in the trial or sentencing.