Could He Ever Be Set Free?
In March 2017, Franklin county officials found a grisly scene when they arrived at a house on U.S. Highway 64. Eighteen-year-old, Oliver Mauricio Funes-Machado had beheaded his own mother with a butcher knife. He was still holding her head when they responded to the 911 call that he himself had made. He told the dispatcher that he had stabbed his mother "like eight times" and that he had committed the atrocity "because I felt like it". He had been released only a week before from a mental health facility, based on a court order.
The victim, Yesenia Funes Beatriz Machado his mother was 35 years old. She had three other younger children living in the home with her. When she was killed her two young daughters, age 2 and 4, were in another room of the house, but were unharmed, a third child was in school, and their father was not home either.
The place where the murder took place was so grisly that first responders who worked the crime scene gathered for group counseling afterwards. A neighbor who was leaving his house minutes after the police arrived came to offer his help to the officer who had handcuffed Machado. He said he saw the woman’s head lying in the front yard about five feet in front of the porch.
Machado is an illegal immigrant from Honduras which had been living in the United States since he was 5 or 6 years old. He completed the 10th grade in a local high school, but eventually dropped out due to behavioral or emotional issues.
A family friend who was interviewed said that Machado had changed when he was about 14 years old. He became isolated and refused to leave his room and socialize with others. He had received extended psychiatric treatment twice before the crime.
After the arrest Machado was charged with first-degree murder. This charge was dropped by prosecutors last year. In the meantime he was transferred to a regional hospital in order to evaluate his fitness to go forward in the case.
On October 22nd, 2018, Machado was judged not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to state psychiatric care. During the hearing, a forensic psychiatrist who had evaluated him described Machado as suffering from a psychotic illness. He is extremely delusional, believing that he was acting on God's instructions, and that Jesus would have stopped him if he wasn't supposed to kill his mother. During treatment according to the doctor he would pace naked in his room and bark like a dog.
During the hearing the following statement was read, 'Should the defendant's capacity to proceed be restored, he would be returned to the custody of Franklin County Sheriff Ken Winstead, and the District Attorney's Office will reinstate the charges.
Perhaps they were keeping in mind something the evaluating physician said, which was he would not want to see the defendant outside of a secure setting.
Like so many other instances where art imitates life, on October 19th, 2018 the last sequel of the Halloween horror story premiered. The synopsis of the original movie was the murderous rampage caused by Michael Myers a profoundly disturbed man who escapes from the institution where he was held since childhood after killing his own sister when he was six years old. Sound familiar?
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Stranger Than Fiction Stories by M.P. Pellicer