Crime & Courts

‘I think someone is trying to kill my grandma,’ boy said at door

Woman accused of decapitation makes first court appearance

Rachael Hilyard makes her first appearance on charges of murdering 63-year-old Micki Davis.
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Rachael Hilyard makes her first appearance on charges of murdering 63-year-old Micki Davis.

“I think someone is trying to kill my grandma,” the 9-year-old boy said.

Those are the words a 13-year-old boy remembers hearing Sunday afternoon when the 9-year-old came to his door holding a cellphone, at times breaking into tears.

The context of those words became clearer Wednesday when Rachael Hilyard appeared in Sedgwick County District Court to hear that she was being charged with first-degree murder in the decapitation of the 9-year-old’s grandmother, 63-year-old Micki Davis.

According to police, the boy didn’t witness the actual death of his grandmother but saw her being assaulted in Hilyard’s garage, at 1426 W. Rita, near Seneca and Pawnee. The boy fled the house to get a cellphone from his grandmother’s vehicle outside.

He ended up going house to house on the next street over, Jewell. There, he found someone who came to the door: the 13-year-old boy and his 12-year-old brother. The brothers had been playing a video game inside when the doorbell rang. Their mother was taking a nap.

The boys’ mother permitted a reporter to take the boys’ account but asked that they not be identified to protect their privacy.

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The 12-year-old brother remembered that the boy who came to the door first said, “I’m calling 911.”

“I said, ‘Why?’ And he started to say things” – between tears.

The boy managed to say, “I think someone is trying to kill my grandma.” He said someone had gotten on top of his grandmother and was beating her.

“I said, ‘Where?’ ” the 12-year-old recalled. The 9-year-old pointed to the southwest, to the next street to the south, Rita.

Another adult at the house heard what the boy was saying, and that adult moved the boys inside the house. Police cars pulled up outside and took the 9-year-old away.

At her first court appearance in the case Wednesday, Hilyard, 35, listened to Judge Jeff Goering through a video connection between the courthouse and jail. She wore lemon-yellow jail garb. She had her short hair combed over in a flip on top.

As with most first court appearances, it was a short exchange. When the judge asked Hilyard whether she understood the murder charge, she answered, “Yes.” To the question of whether she had any questions, she replied, “No, sir.” An attorney from the public defender’s office will represent her. Her next court appearance is set for April 26.

Her bond remains at $200,000.

On an affidavit seeking a public defender, Hilyard said she is unemployed. In a January 2015 court document in a divorce case, she said she received “disability money.”

On Monday, police said Hilyard – in the garage of her home – attacked Davis with a knife and decapitated her.

Davis’ son is Hilyard’s ex-boyfriend, and Davis and her 9-year-old grandson came to Hilyard’s house Sunday afternoon to retrieve property, police said. Officers found Hilyard hiding in the house, police said.

Neighbors have said they saw police cars outside Hilyard’s house multiple times in recent years. She has lived there about eight years, according to neighbors.

On March 19, Wichita police arrested her, citing her on suspicion of four misdemeanors: assault, willful criminal damage to property, criminal trespass and “interference with law enforcement, obstruct, resist,” municipal court records show. A police report said she went to the 13000 block of West Onewood at about 9:35 p.m. on March 19 and tried to force her way into a home while “looking for her biological son who lives there.” She allegedly broke a window and assaulted an officer; there was no injury, the report said.

Hilyard had convictions in Sedgwick County for drug possession in 2012 and 2013 and was discharged from community corrections supervision in May 2015, records show. While under supervision in 2014, she admitted using methamphetamine, marijuana and opiates, a court document says.

Before her 2012 and 2013 drug cases, she had a long list of traffic and drug-related convictions in Wichita Municipal Court dating back to 2001, records show.

Wichita police Officer Charley Davidson talks about a disturbance in southwest Wichita on Sunday, April 9, 2017, that left one person dead. (Video by Bryan Horwath / Wichita Eagle)