OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A man accused of beheading a co-worker at a food processing plant in suburban Oklahoma City is set to undergo a rare legal proceeding to determine whether he is competent to stand trial.
Alton Nolen is the focus of the non-jury competency trial scheduled to begin Monday in a Cleveland County courtroom. Defense attorneys say Nolen is unable to help them prepare his defense, a constitutionally guaranteed legal right.
Nolen is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 54-year-old Colleen Hufford, who was beheaded with a knife at Vaughan Foods in Moore in September 2014.
He is also charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon in an attack on another woman who survived.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against the 31-year-old Nolen, who has pleaded not guilty to both charges.