North Carolina prosecutors will seek a mental evaluation of an 18-year-old man charged with decapitating his mother at a home east of Raleigh.
Oliver Funez was charged with first-degree murder yesterday after a deputy responding to an emergency call saw the man walk out of a home in Zebulon with his mother's head in one hand and what appeared to be a large knife in the other.
Deputies found the body of 35-year-old Yesenia Funez Beatriz Machado in the home. Franklin County District Attorney Mike Waters told WRAL-TV today it could take weeks to months to determine Funez's mental state.
Boyd Sturges, the assigned lawyer for Funez, says his client has "some substantial mental health issues". Sturges said while he's not a doctor, he could see that Funez was "a pretty profoundly disturbed young man".
Waters was reviewing the emergency call and will decide whether to release it.
Funez was to be transferred to Central Prison in Raleigh under a safekeeping order. Sturges said the prison is in a better position to help people with mental health issues.Funez was ordered held in custody. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 15.
Two young girls in the home were not hurt. A fourth child was in schools when the attack occurred.
Deputies were searching the home hours after the body was discovered.
"We owe it to the victims to make sure it's done in a proper manner - to make sure once it gets to the courthouse, justice can be served," said sheriff's office Chief of Staff Terry Wright.
Neighbour Leona Smith told WRAL-TV she was still trying to come to grips with such a horrible crime happening so close by.
"It's very hurtful to know something like this can happen in your own neighborhood with such a quiet family with the standard white picket fence, trampoline, playground in the back," she said.
"To see the two younger children sitting in the ditch crying, it was heartbreaking."
Neighbour Eddie Garner was at the home when the woman's husband returned home.
"I don't know what they told him," Garner told WTVD-TV. "I mean, we just heard him crying."