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Officials to evaluate 'mental state' of 18-year-old accused of decapitating mom

Posted March 7

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— The mental state of an 18-year-old man who allegedly decapitated his mother at a Zebulon home on Monday will be evaluated by authorities as he awaits a formal indictment by a grand jury.

Oliver Mauricio Funes Machada was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 35-year-old Yesenia Funez Beatriz Machado. Franklin County authorities said Funes Machada walked out of the home at 90 Morgan Dr. with a large butcher knife in one hand and his mother's head in the other.

Mike Waters, the Franklin County district attorney, said Funes Machada's "mental state will be a primary interest" over the next few weeks. Waters said it could take weeks or months to determine exactly what the situation is.

Waters reviewed the recording of the 911 call and said he will not release it.

Funes Machada, who finished 10th grade at Rolesville High School, was given "safekeeper" status due to his mental state, according to Franklin County court officials. The designation is part of guidelines issued by the North Carolina Department of Corrections to assist with prisoner housing when safety and security are a concern.

He was transferred from the Franklin County Jail to Central Prison in Raleigh Tuesday morning.

Neighbors who live nearby said they are reeling from what they witnessed.

"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," said Leona Smith. "To know this happened and then yesterday to see the two younger children sitting in the ditch crying, it was heartbreaking."

Funes Machada is originally from Honduras and it was not immediately clear whether or not he is a U.S. citizen.

Funes Machada was appointed an attorney, and his next court date is March 14. The next grand jury will meet in April.

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