Man Accused Of Beheading Co-Worker Ordered To Trial For First-Degree Murder

| by Sean Kelly
alton nolenalton nolen

An Oklahoma man accused of beheading a co-worker at a food processing plant was ordered to trial on a charge of first-degree murder.

Alton Nolen will face trial for the September 2014 beheading of co-worker Colleen Hufford while the two were working at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma. Nolen, a Muslim convert, could face the death penalty if convicted of the crime, according to Daily Mail.

Cleveland County Special Judge Steve Stice ordered 31-year-old Nolen to stand trial on both the murder charge as well as a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, reported Daily Mail. Nolen pleaded not guilty to the murder. 

According to Daily Mail, Gary Hazelrigg, a customer service manager at Vaughan Foods, said at the time of the incident that Nolen entered the office and grabbed Hufford by the head — placing one hand on her forehead and the other holding a “large, heavy butcher knife drawn across her neck.”

“In no more than a second or two, the man pulled her forehead toward him and made a vicious cut across her throat with the knife,” Hazelrigg said. He then sat on top of the woman and sawed at her throat.

Hazelrigg said he tried several times to knock Nolen off of the woman. He eventually escaped the attack by going into a locked room.

Nolen had recently been suspended from his job when he entered the building and carried out the attack, reported Daily Mail. He reportedly stabbed another co-worker, Traci Johnson, before chief operating officer Mark Vaughan shot him. Vaughan is also a reserve sheriff's deputy. Johnson survived the stabbing. 

Despite defense claims that Nolen was intellectually impaired, in October, he was found mentally competent to stand trial, reported Daily Mail.

Sources: Daily Mail, KTUL / Photo credit: KTUL