Police line do not cross
File photo: US police tape Reuters

A North Carolina teenager who allegedly stood outside his home with his mother's severed head after calling 911 about stabbing her, has been sent to a psychiatric hospital by a judge. 19-year-old Oliver Funez Machada will not be prosecuted on a murder judge, the judge ruled, and will instead be involuntarily committed.

"This is consistent with what our position is," defense attorney, Boyd Sturges said. "We feel that Mr. Machada is very, very seriously deranged. And clearly he's psychotic, and we think the state's correct." Machada underwent a series of mental evaluations before the ruling.

Charges could potentially be pursued again if Machada is deemed fit at a point in the future.

Court documents said that Machada was on psychiatric medications when he called 911 and said he had stabbed his mother - allegedly calmly saying that he would not harm his two and four-year-old siblings.

The two children in the house at the time were not hurt, another child was at school at the time according to reports from the days after the incident.

Officials at the time could not say how many time 35-year-old Yesenia Funez Beatriz Machada had been stabbed.

A deputy saw Machada outside the home holding his mother's severed head and a knife, warrants claim. Machada was also said to be illegally living in the US from Honduras but immigrations officials said they would not get involved as long as he stays in state custody.

One neighbour told news site WRAL.com at the time of the incident that he walked past the house in Zebulon, North Carolina and saw the look of horror on one police officer's face: "He just looked like he was just blown away. I mean, he was just in terror, he was so upset." One sheriff described the incident, which took place on 6 March, to the news site as "a gruesome scene".