A teen accused of beheading his mother in Franklin County was in the country illegally, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has moved to deport him if he is ever released from jail.
Oliver Funes-Machado, 18, was arrested at the family home on Morgan Drive, off Carlyle Road northeast of Zebulon, on Monday and charged with first-degree murder.
Franklin County Sheriff Kent Winstead told reporters that Funes-Machado called 911 to report the killing and stayed on the phone until deputies arrived. When a deputy got to the home, Winstead said, Funes-Machado walked out of the house holding the head of his mother, Yesenia Funes Beatriz Machado, 35, in one hand and what appeared to be a large butcher knife in the other.
In an application for a warrant to search the house, Detective A.R. Roberts of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office wrote that Funes-Machado told dispatchers that “he stabbed her ‘like 8 times’ and left the knife in her mouth.” Roberts wrote that Funes-Machado told dispatchers that he had killed his mother “because I felt like it,” and told dispatchers that his 4-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother were in the home at the time.
After Funes-Machado was arrested without incident, deputies secured the home and waited for the search warrant to further investigate. The search yielded bloody clothing and shoe prints; a large, blood-covered kitchen knife; and medication used to treat psychosis and schizophrenia that investigators say they think belonged to Funes-Machado, according to the warrant.
Funes-Machado’s public defender, Louisburg attorney C. Boyd Sturges III, said in a phone interview with the Associated Press that he spoke with the teen for an hour in the Franklin County jail.
“It does appear there’s some substantial mental health issues involved in this case,” Sturges said. “I’m not a doctor, so I can’t really elaborate. He’s a pretty profoundly disturbed young man in a mental health kind of way.”
No motive for the killing has been determined, and deputies will continue investigating and conducting interviews, said Ninth District Attorney Michael Waters. Funes-Machado is being held at Central Prison in Raleigh and is scheduled to appear for a probable cause hearing March 14, Waters said
The teen’s name, originally reported as Funez, appears as Funes-Machado on federal documents. He is from Honduras and was living in the United States illegally, ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said Wednesday.
The federal agency filed what’s called a detainer for Funes-Machado. A detainer does not infringe on criminal charges or proceedings against Funes-Machado, but requires law enforcement to notify ICE if he is being released, so he can be put in the agency’s custody, Cox said.
Cox said he did not know the immigration status of the other members of Funes-Machado’s family but said they are not in ICE custody.