Accused Beheader Pleads Guilty to Murder

     OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) – A Muslim convert accused of beheading a co-worker and nearly beheading a second at an Oklahoma food processing plant pleaded guilty Friday.
     Alton Alexander Nolen, 31, of Norman, Okla., pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder and two counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon, the Oklahoman reported.
     Nolen is accused of beheading 54-year-old Colleen Hufford on Sept. 25, 2014, at a Vaughn Foods processing plant.
     Prosecutors say Nolen also tried to behead a second victim, Traci Johnson, 44, cutting her throat and face, and then tried to stab a company executive, who shot him.
     Nolen’s attack was sparked by a complaint Johnson made about Nolen “not liking white people,” prosecutors allege.
     Psychologist Jeanne Russell testified at Nolen’s competency trial in October, saying he wanted to plead guilty and be executed because of his religious beliefs.
     On Friday, Cleveland County District Judge Lori Walkley declined to rule on accepting Nolen’s plea until Aug. 12 because a separate defense expert claims Nolen is mentally ill.
     Walkley questioned Nolen for 90 minutes about the crime and if he understood he was waiving his right to a jury trial by pleading guilty.
     He responded with rambling answers referencing his Muslim faith and that events in his life were pre-determined. He stopped at one point and started praying, the Oklahoman reported.
     Russell testified at the competency hearing that he had a “major deficit” in his “intellectual functioning” that she noticed in seven hours of interviews and tests conducted last year.
     Nolen scored 62 and 69 on IQ tests and is considered mentally retarded, Russell said.

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