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Oklahoma jury recommends death penalty in beheading case

  • An Oklahoma jury recommended the death penalty Thursday for a man convicted of beheading a co-worker from the 2014 incident
  • Jurors said Alton Nolen, 33, should serve three life sentences plus 130 years on assault and battery charges for also attacking a co-worker who survived
  • The jury decided within three hours their recommendation for the death penalty on the first-degree murder charge
  • Cleveland County Assistant District Attorney, Susan Caswell, said in a court statement the incident 'was a decisive act not driven by a mental illness'
  • Caswell said: 'I submit to you, he would do it again in a heartbeat'

By Associated Press and Dailymail.com Reporter

Published: 16:49 EDT, 12 October 2017 | Updated: 01:08 EDT, 13 October 2017

A jury said Thursday Alton Nolen, who is now 33, would receive the death penalty for beheading a co-worker back in 2014
A jury said Thursday Alton Nolen, who is now 33, would receive the death penalty for beheading a co-worker back in 2014

A jury said Thursday Alton Nolen, who is now 33, would receive the death penalty for beheading a co-worker back in 2014

A jury in Oklahoma decided Thursday to give the death penalty to a man who was convicted for the beheading of a co-worker in the nightmare 2014 incident.

Alton Nolen, 33, was convicted in late September for murdering Colleen Hufford, 54, and also attempting to slaughter another co-worker during a heated dispute that took place inside the Moore food processing plant, Vaughan Foods.

Jurors agreed on Oct. 2 that Nolen should serve three life sentences plus 130 years in prison on assault and battery charges stemming from his attack on the co-worker who survived. 

Jurors took less than three hours Thursday to recommend the death penalty on the first-degree murder charge.

Investigators said Nolen had just been suspended from his job at the plant when he walked inside the company's administrative office and attacked his co-workers.

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Nolen was convicted in late September for murdering Colleen Hufford, 54, and also attempting to slaughter another co-worker at a Moore, Oklahoma food processing plant
Nolen was convicted in late September for murdering Colleen Hufford, 54, and also attempting to slaughter another co-worker at a Moore, Oklahoma food processing plant

Nolen was convicted in late September for murdering Colleen Hufford, 54, and also attempting to slaughter another co-worker at a Moore, Oklahoma food processing plant

Jurors agreed on Oct. 2 that Nolen should serve three life sentences plus 130 years in prison on assault and battery charges stemming from his attack on the co-worker who survived
Jurors agreed on Oct. 2 that Nolen should serve three life sentences plus 130 years in prison on assault and battery charges stemming from his attack on the co-worker who survived

Jurors agreed on Oct. 2 that Nolen should serve three life sentences plus 130 years in prison on assault and battery charges stemming from his attack on the co-worker who survived

Nolen has said of the killing that he doesn't 'regret it at all' and that 'oppressors don't need to be here'
Nolen has said of the killing that he doesn't 'regret it at all' and that 'oppressors don't need to be here'

Nolen has said of the killing that he doesn't 'regret it at all' and that 'oppressors don't need to be here'

During the trial, prosecutors played recordings of Nolen confessing to the stabbings while he was hospitalized following the attack.

In the recordings, Nolen says he doesn't 'regret it at all' and that 'oppressors don't need to be here.'

Nolen's attorneys argued that he is mentally ill and that he believed he was doing the right thing because of his delusional misinterpretations of the Quran.  

Colleen Hufford (left) was the victim in the Moore, Oklahoma beheading case that took place at Vaughan Foods food processing plant
Colleen Hufford (left) was the victim in the Moore, Oklahoma beheading case that took place at Vaughan Foods food processing plant

Colleen Hufford (left) was the victim in the Moore, Oklahoma beheading case that took place at Vaughan Foods food processing plant

Investigators said Nolen had just been suspended from his job at the plant when he walked inside the company's administrative office and attacked Hufford (right) and another co-worker
Investigators said Nolen had just been suspended from his job at the plant when he walked inside the company's administrative office and attacked Hufford (right) and another co-worker

Investigators said Nolen had just been suspended from his job at the plant when he walked inside the company's administrative office and attacked Hufford (right) and another co-worker

But prosecutors said Nolen knew right from wrong before he attacked Hufford, and Oklahoma City television station KFOR reported that this point was emphasized during closing arguments. 

'This was a decisive act not driven by a mental illness. I submit to you, he would do it again in a heartbeat,' Cleveland County Assistant District Attorney, Susan Caswell, said in the shocking court statement. 

Cleveland County Assistant District Attorney, Susan Caswell, said in a court statement: 'This was a decisive act not driven by a mental illness. I submit to you, he would do it again in a heartbeat'
Cleveland County Assistant District Attorney, Susan Caswell, said in a court statement: 'This was a decisive act not driven by a mental illness. I submit to you, he would do it again in a heartbeat'

Cleveland County Assistant District Attorney, Susan Caswell, said in a court statement: 'This was a decisive act not driven by a mental illness. I submit to you, he would do it again in a heartbeat'

Nolen had repeatedly tried to plead guilty and asked to be executed, but Cleveland County District Judge Lori Walkley declined to accept his plea. 

One of Nolen's attorneys had questioned whether his client was mentally competent to enter a guilty plea.

At a 2016 hearing, Nolen told the judge that he would only accept a death sentence, not life in prison with or without the possibility of parole. 

The judge repeatedly reminded Nolen that if he pleaded guilty and waived his right to a jury trial, the decision to sentence him would be up to a judge, not him.

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