New Competency Trial Begins For Murder Suspect Alton Nolen

Sunday, April 2nd 2017, 11:33 pm
By: News 9

The man who confessed to beheading a coworker in 2014 at Vaughan Foods returns to court Monday.

After another round of evaluations, a judge will decide if Alton Nolen is mentally competent to plead guilty.

Nolen has asked to plead guilty and receive the death penalty since he was first arrested, and prosecutors are on board, but Nolen's defense hopes his recent violent outbursts while in custody support their claim that he is insane.

In February, prosecutors filed an updated statement showing why the state is seeking the death penalty for Nolen. It shows he attacked Cleveland County detention officers multiple times last year. In August, the statement said Nolen grabbed an officer's throat, tried to unholster another officer's taser and spat blood on officers after the struggle.

The last outburst reported at the jail in September ended with Nolen getting Tasered. That was days after Judge Lori Walkley put a hold on the case, ordering further mental evaluation at the Oklahoma Forensic Center.

Once Nolen got to the Oklahoma Forensic Center in November, documents show he made verbal threats to nurses and punched another patient before he was eventually transferred back to the jail the following month.

News 9 has learned the nurses and the center's doctor are scheduled to testify this week, with the defense hoping to support the claim that Nolen is incompetent to file his own plea. Prosecutors hope to show that Nolen can control his behavior.

There will be no jury for this trial, and testimony is slated to last all week. From there, the judge will decide if Nolen is competent. If he is, the case will go straight into the sentencing phase.