WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH/Gray News) - Charged with killing and decapitating a woman in April 2017, Rachael Hilyard took the stand in her own defense Wednesday in Sedgwick County District Court.
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Hilyard is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Micki Davis at a south Wichita home. Hilyard is the ex-girlfriend of Davis' son, who was in prison at the time of the killing.
Davis' family was in the courtroom on the second day of the trial. Family members left the courtroom while the state showed photos from the crime scene to the jury.
Hilyard began her testimony saying she had known the 63-year-old grandmother for about 20 years.
She says Davis and her 9-year-old grandson came to her home to get items belonging to Davis' son. Hilyard said there was an argument that became physical over a painting in the laundry room.
She says the fight stopped when Davis was on the ground, not moving. She says she didn't check to see if Davis was breathing because of voices in her head and what she described as app that "someone could watch me out of my own eyes."
Hilyard said she then went to see where Davis’ grandson went and found him inside the truck parked outside. Standing outside the truck, she said she was talking with the boy when the voices in her head came back, telling her, “you don’t have much time.”
That's when she says she went back into the garage where Davis was unconscious.
"The things told me I didn't have much time, and I had to get her head away from her body so her soul could get free, so her soul could get out and go to heaven," Hilyard testified.
Hilyard says she took Davis' severed head to the kitchen sink and left it there. She says she then went into the bathroom. This is where responding officers found her and arrested her.
A judge and jury saw surveillance video Tuesday from one of Hilyard's neighbors. It showed Davis and her grandson arrive at Hilyard's home. They also heard the boy's call to 911.
Hilyard's defense argued that the boy never said Hilyard had a weapon in the disturbance involving her and his grandmother.
A neighbor and responding Wichita police officer took the stand and testified that the boy told them Hilyard was beating up his grandmother. Footage from the officer's body camera was also shown.
The boy says Hilyard attacked his grandmother when they were grabbing items at the home.
Davis' family called the boy a hero for making the 911 call and running to a neighbor's home to ask for help.