Crime & Courts

Exorcism preceded woman’s killing and decapitation, suspect says

Rachael Hilyard makes her first court appearance before Judge Jeffrey Goering in the murder of 63-year-old Micki Davis.
Rachael Hilyard makes her first court appearance before Judge Jeffrey Goering in the murder of 63-year-old Micki Davis. File photo

Rachael Hilyard – charged with first-degree murder in the April 9 decapitation of 63-year-old Micki Davis – said Tuesday that church members performed an exorcism at Hilyard’s house days before the killing.

Hilyard said the exorcism was done because of “evil spirits” at her south Wichita house.

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Hilyard, 35, said that God, not she, was responsible for the death.

“I feel horrible about this,” she said without elaborating.

Her comments came during a 20-minute interview on Tuesday with an Eagle reporter through a video connection in the visitation area at the Sedgwick County Jail. The Eagle wasn’t allowed to use a notebook or recording device.

At moments during the interview, Hilyard’s eyes appeared to tear up. She often looked away as she spoke or went silent. She wouldn’t answer follow-up questions to clarify what she did say.

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

Hilyard wore green jail clothing, not the yellow garb she had on for her first court appearance after she was charged. The jail uses color codes to help classify inmates. Yellow often signifies mental-health issues.

Hilyard wouldn’t answer general questions about what happened the day Davis was killed at Hilyard’s home.

Wichita police have said that Hilyard is the ex-girlfriend of one of Davis’ sons. The day of the killing, Hilyard contacted Davis and said she was putting her son’s property by the curb if it wasn’t retrieved, police said in an affidavit filed with the court.

When Davis and her 9-year-old grandson went to Hilyard’s house on West Rita to get the items, Hilyard attacked Davis with a knife in the garage, and the boy called 911 as he ran to get help, police said. An officer found Davis’ severed head in Hilyard’s kitchen sink, according to the affidavit, released last week.

Hilyard said Tuesday that church members came to her house to do an exorcism. Asked why, she mentioned “evil spirits” at her home and referred to one of her Instagram social-media postings that displayed a photo of smoke. The caption, dated March 31, said: “Look here its the grim reaper. In a cloud of smoke.” The photo appears to have been taken under a ceiling fan.

Hilyard began the interview by saying she had stopped receiving disability money in September because of trouble filling out paperwork.

Her disability was for a 2003 car accident that left her with a “traumatic brain injury,” she said. A scar visible on the back of her head in one of her Instagram photos is from her injury, she said.

Hilyard said her disability situation had nothing to do with “it.” She wouldn’t say what she meant by “it.”

Although she wouldn’t talk in detail about the day Davis died, she blurted out that it had been an “ordinary” day.

She said her bond – which jail records show is $226,000 – is low and that if someone would bond her out of jail, she would talk more.

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