Alton Nolen Detained After Outburst In Cleveland County Courtroom
CLEVELAND COUNTY, Oklahoma - It took three deputies to restrain a murder suspect after he stood up in court and refused to sit down Monday morning inside a Cleveland County courtroom.
Alton Nolen was taken back to the Cleveland County jail after he refused to answer the judge when she questioned him after the disturbance.
Undersheriff Rhett Burnett told News 9 he is being kept in disciplinary segregation at the jail, which means he is being kept away from other inmates.
But Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said neither the prosecution nor the defense are not letting Monday morning's disturbance disrupt their proceedings.
This is not the first time Nolen has done something strange in court, but it is the first time deputies had to physically restrain him.
Nolen is charged with the brutal 2014 murder of Colleen Hufford, who was a coworker of his at Vaughan Foods.
He's accused of beheading Hufford and trying to behead another coworker during a rampage at the plant after he was suspended from work.
The COO of the company managed to stop the deadly attack by shooting Nolen after he tried to attack him too.
For the past two and a half years, Nolen has been in and out of the state's Forensic Center as they try to determine if he is competent to stand trial and assist in his defense.
The state is asking for the death penalty and Nolen has told the judge he wants to receive it.
Monday's proceedings were to help legally determine how the case should proceed.
Instead of allowing expert mental health witnesses to testify, Nolen's disruptive behavior created a brief pause in proceedings, but it was not enough to derail them.
“We've had on occasion defendants act up in the courtroom,” said Mashburn.
Mashburn said the disturbance will not stand in their way of proving their case, and at no time during the disturbance did he fear what could happen.
“No, I think the deputies had it well under control,” said Mashburn.
We are going back into the courtroom to see what everyone determines.— Adrianna Iwasinski (@AIwasinski) April 3, 2017
Alta Nolen is flanked by deputies but standing in the courtroom— Adrianna Iwasinski (@AIwasinski) April 3, 2017
The judge will have a video conference to determine if Nolen will appear in court Tuesday or any of the other days of the mental competency trial which is expected to go several days.