Judge Rules Alton Nolen Not Competent To Enter Guilty Plea In Moore Beheading Case
MOORE, Oklahoma - A judge has ruled that a man, accused of beheading his coworker at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, is not competent to enter a guilty plea in this case.
Wednesday morning, the judge declined Alton Nolen's plea until further evaluation. The state mental hospital in Vinita will handle his testing and treatment.
Nolen stands accused of the brutal attack at Vaughan Foods in Moore, where he killed co-worker Colleen Hufford by beheading her and attacked two others. All crimes District Attorney Greg Mashburn says Nolen has pleaded guilty to and requested the death penalty.
“We’ve litigated it, we’ve got a guy on the other side of the courtroom wanting to accept the death penalty and move along down the road and we’re spending a lot of time helping him get there,” said Mashburn.
A Cleveland County judge has already previously reserved ruling on Nolen's guilty plea.
The judge requested a competency hearing to help determine if Nolen is mentally ill and understands the implications of his plea.
“She’s got a case where we are seeking the death penalty so a man’s life does hang in the balance,” said Mashburn.
During the competency testing process, both the state and defense brought in a team of psychologists to asses Nolen. They came back with opposing results.
The judge said that's partly the reason why she declined Nolen's plea, a decision the family is not happy with.
Kelli Hufford, daughter of Colleen Hufford, released a statement calling Nolen a monster and calling the judge's decision inexcusable.
The case has been put on hold until Nolen gets back from Vinita for a post evaluation hearing. That date has not been set.