On Friday, a Cleveland County judge ruled there will be a trial against a local Muslim man accused of beheading a co-worker.
Alton Nolen, 31, is charged with murder and other felony counts in the deadly attack at Vaughan Foods in Moore back in September 2014.
Three co-workers who witnessed the attack took the stand at Nolen’s preliminary hearing. All three witnesses recalled how they tried to stop this violent attack on their co-worker and at times their testimony was gruesome.
Nolen kept his head down low and refused to make eye contact as he walked to the courtroom for his preliminary hearing, and did the same during court proceedings. He’s accused of beheading Colleen Hufford, 54, by taking a knife to her throat and for trying to do the same to coworker Traci Johnson, 44, but fortunately she survived.
One of the most compelling moments of testimony came from Bryan Aylor, who worked at Vaughan Foods. Aylor says he was in the parking lot when he heard several female co-workers yell out "He cut her throat! He cut her throat!"
Aylor says when he ran back in, he saw Nolan had Hufford in his lap and was sawing her neck. Aylor says he grabbed Nolen by the wrist to stop the attack and said they struggled and he lost his footing. He says Nolen then tried to stab him and that he was in fear for his life. But he told the judge "I wasn't a victim. I wasn't an easy victim. I fought back."
Mark Vanderpool also took the stand. He testified he also tried to get Nolen off Hufford by kicking him in the head, but says it didn't even phase him.
Vanderpool says Nolen then swung the knife at him but missed. He testified the only thing that stopped Nolen's rampage was when Mark Vaughan, the company's Chief Operating Officer showed up with a gun and fired three times, but only after Nolen charged at him with the knife in hand.
Nolen's trial date is yet to be set but state prosecutors plan to go for the death penalty.