Prosecutors will not seek death penalty for Franklin County teen charged with decapitating mother

LOUISBURG, N.C. (WNCN) – The state will not seek the death penalty in the case of a Franklin County teen accused of decapitating his mother in March.


Oliver Funes-Machado, 18, is accused of beheading his 35-year-old mother on March 7, then walking out of their home with her head in one hand and a butcher knife in the other to wait for deputies to respond to the 911 call he made.

The Zebulon teen accused of beheading his mother told dispatchers he had killed her “because I felt like it,” according to an investigator’s sworn statement.

Funes-Machado also told a dispatcher that “he stabbed her ‘like 8 times’ and left the knife in her mouth,” according to the sworn statement by Det. A.R. Roberts of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office

The teen’s 4-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother were in the house, the statement says Machado told dispatchers.

RELATED: Warrant: Zebulon beheading suspect said he killed mom ‘because I felt like it’

In court Monday, prosecutors said they will not seek the death penalty for Machado.

The teen’s attorney, Boyd Sturgess, said his client is a “very unwell person” and that “mental health is going to be a key component” in the case.

“I think just from what we’ve seen it clearly appears to be the kind of a case that has a serious component of mental health disorder of some sort. I am not a doctor, and neither is the district attorney. Clearly, this is not your run of the mill occurrence,” he said.

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