Rachael Hilyard, the woman charged with beheading her former boyfriend’s mother last year, isn’t competent to stand trial right now — but could be in the future.
A report from the state psychiatric hospital in Larned says Hilyard’s mental state is likely to improve with continued treatment. She was sent to the hospital last fall after attorneys became concerned about her ability to understand the criminal charges filed against her and her ability to assist in her defense.
She’ll return to the hospital for at least 90 more days of treatment, Judge Faith Maughan ordered Friday morning. She will receive another competency evaluation after that.
“This is a fluid ... situation,” Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett told Maughan after reading briefly from the report in court.
“I don’t believe that she’s currently competent,” Jason Smartt, Hilyard’s public defender, said. He asked that Hilyard be returned to the hospital as soon as possible.
If Hilyard becomes competent sooner than 90 days, the judge said she would order Hilyard be brought back to Wichita and consider setting a date for the murder trial.
Hilyard is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the death and decapitation of 63-year-old Micki Davis on April 9. Davis was killed after going to Hilyard’s home with her 9-year-old grandson to pick up property. Police who responded to the boy’s 911 call found her body in the garage and her severed head in the kitchen sink.
In an interview with The Eagle after her arrest, Hilyard said a local church performed an exorcism at her home just days before the killing in an attempt to eradicate evil spirits. She said that God, not she, was responsible for Davis’ death.
Hilyard was quiet during Friday’s hearing, which last just minutes. Dressed in a jail garb, she glanced at the floor and at the judge while attorneys discussed the competency report. Afterward, deputies escorted her out of the courtroom.
As Hilyard walked out, a family member of Davis’ who was sitting in the gallery shouted, “Devil! You’re the devil!”
Hilyard did not respond.