The judge has reserved ruling on the guilty plea of a man accused in the attack at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma.
Alton Nolen, 32, stayed silent going into the courtroom. But once inside, he spent much of his hearing rambling on about this Muslim faith and trying to fire his court appointed attorneys. He even prayed in court and called the judge a heathen and a pagan.
His legal team tried to present evidence to the judge from another medical expert that has stated Nolen has a mental illness and can't understand the court proceedings.
Since the beginning, Nolen has stated he wants to plead guilty and receive the death penalty for the September 2014 attack at Vaughan Foods in Moore, where he killed coworker Colleen Hufford by beheading her and tried to attack two others.
“The judge is being very careful making sure that Mr. Nolen's rights are protected,” said Greg Mashburn, the Cleveland County DA trying this case. “But at the same time if he has made a knowing and voluntary plea, then we can proceed on. But she wants to make sure we don't do anything during the court process that causes this case to be reversed down the road.”
In the courtroom, Alton Nolen stated, "I'm being held captive by misbelievers of the one and only law by God."
His public defender tried to present evidence to the judge that a medical expert has deemed Nolen mentally ill and that he can't understand what's happening in court. But state prosecutors told the judge she has already ruled Nolan competent to stand trial.
“I mean that's just another one of those legal battles that we'll have to take up and work through,” said Mashburn.
Court records state the brutal and deadly attack happened after Nolen was suspended from his job at the plant. Even though he has repeatedly confessed to the crime and asked for the death penalty, the presiding judge decided to reserve her ruling on his plea until she can see what a state psychologist has to say about Nolen's current mental state.
The DA says he still plans on seeking the death penalty, but understands why the judge is proceeding so carefully.
“We'll take it one court date at a time,” said Mashburn.
The next court date has been set for August 12 in Cleveland County court.