A woman who decapitated her ex's mum will remain in prison after her appeal was denied.
Murderer Rachael Hilyard, from Kansas, US, got into an altercation with Micki Davis in April 2017 after she came to pick up her son's belongings from the killer's house after the pair split up.
It was reported that an argument over a painting then led Hilyard to grab a steak knife and begin hacking at the victim's neck, attempting to sever her head from her body.
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"I just freaked out, and we were wrestling into the garage, and we got into a fight," she told the court in 2020, claiming the dispute had broken out over a painting.
Micki Davis had also brought her 9-year-old grandson with her, who witnessed the ordeal.
The brave boy told police that Hilyard jumped on the older woman with no warning and started hitting her.
Hilyard then grabbed the knife and began the gruesome murder.
Midway through, the knife broke and the killer went to get another knife to finish the job.
Hilyard claimed she had heard voices in her head that motivated the crime, saying: "The things told me that I didn’t have much time and I had to get her head away from her body so her soul could get free so it could get out and go to heaven."
The murderer then dumped her victim's head in the kitchen sink. It was thought that Davis was still alive when Hilyard began decapitating her.
While the ordeal was occurring, Davis' grandson snuck away and used his deceased grandmother's phone to call 911.
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"Actually, he was the heart of the case," his uncle and the deceased's other son, Jeremy Rush, said.
"He knew exactly what happened. He was a very smart and brave young man. Love him to death."
Kansas police arrived at the scene shortly after the call.
"Upon entering the garage, the officers located the female victim's decapitated body," Lieutenant Todd Ojile said.
Hilyard, now 40, was found hiding in the house.
Hilyard was initially found incompetent to stand trial but received treatment at Larned State Security Hospital before undergoing another evaluation.
A district court then allowed the trial to proceed.
In February 2020 she was convicted of murder in the first degree by Sedgwick County jurors, and later that year was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Recently she appealed to have her case reconsidered because she had received a competency evaluation rather than a full-blown mental health examination to establish whether she was fit to stand trial.
The Kansas Supreme Court dismissed the claim because Hilyard "did not request a mental examination."
"Hilyard appeals on several theories, including insufficient evidence to support premeditation, erroneous jury instruction, ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial error, and the district court’s abuse of discretion," the court wrote.
"We affirm Hilyard’s conviction and sentence."
The Davis family issued a statement after the appeal was denied, saying: "Our family has received amazing news today!
"Micki’s homicide has finally come to an end, the convicted murderer has lost her appeal in the Kansas Supreme court!
"We can finally put this chapter to an end and remember Micki for the person she was and not how her life ended! #justiceformicki."
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