Psychologist Called By Defense Say Alton Nolen Was Mentally Ill

Wednesday, September 27th 2017, 8:23 pm
By: News 9

Spending more than a day on the stand, Dr. Anita Jeanne Russell testified in Alton Nolen's trial. She was called by the defense. 

Dr. Russell is a psychologist from Tulsa who did an evaluation on Nolen. 

The focus on Wednesday was to determine whether the defendant was insane or not when he beheaded Colleen Hufford at Vaughan Foods in 2014. 

Dr. Russell told the jury she diagnosed Alton Nolen with a mental illness. She believes he had schizophrenia, and that Nolen was triggered when he was fired from Vaughan Foods. 

She said in court, "He's very insistent that what he did was the right thing, and he couldn't get to heaven if he stopped."

Dr. Russell believes Nolen was insane at the time of the beheading. This makes two doctors called by the defense that have diagnosed Nolen with mental illness

On the state's side, First Assistant Susan Caswell went through the doctor's report and asked several questions about it. She's trying to prove the point that Nolen was not mentally ill at the time of the beheading, saying he knew what he was doing was wrong. 

Caswell brought up Kay Auwen who testified earlier in the trial and said she was often mistaken for the victim, Colleen Hufford. Auwen testified she had an uncomfortable encounter with Nolen before the beheading incident and Caswell asked Dr. Russell if she knew about it. 

Russell said she didn't hear Auwen's testimony. She sticks with her diagnosis that Nolen was insane at the time of the beheading and didn't know right from wrong. 

Dr. Russell finished her testimony on Wednesday night. The defense will likely rest Thursday morning, and rebuttals from the state will begin. Court resumes at 9:00 a.m.