A Kansas woman accused in 2017 of beheading her ex-boyfriend’s mother with two steak knives was convicted this week of first-degree premeditated murder.
PEOPLE confirms jurors found Rachael Hilyard, 37, guilty of first-degree premeditated murder in the death and decapitation of Micki Davis, a 63-year-old grandmother.
Hilyard was convicted Thursday — a day after taking the stand in her own defense, and describing for the court how voices inside her head instructed her to kill Davis on April 9, 2017.
Hilyard was Davis’ son’s ex, who was serving time in prison at the time of the murder.
According to investigators, Davis went with her 9-year-old grandson to Hilyard’s Wichita home to recover some of her son’s belongings.
Soon after arriving at Hilyard’s residence, an “altercation” erupted between the two over a painting in the laundry room.
Davis’ 9-year-old grandson ran to a neighboring house to report the attack. The neighbor called 911, and police arrived to find Davis dead — her head removed from her neck.
Hilyard will be sentenced on March 27, and faces a possible life sentence.
Relieved relatives spoke to KWCH, including Davis’ son, Jeremy Rush, who credited his nephew with securing justice.
“Actually, he was the heart of the case,” Rush explained. “He knew exactly what happened. He was a very smart and brave young man. Love him to death.”
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Rush admitted that the guilty verdict was bittersweet for him.
“This is justice for Micki. We might’ve won this battle, but we lost the whole war because our mom is not here, and she should be here,” he said.
Related: Mississippi Man Decapitated His Mom Using a Butter Knife, His Teeth