NORMAN, Okla. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — An Oklahoma judge on Friday sentenced a man to death for beheading a co-worker in 2014 at a food processing plant.
Cleveland County District Judge Lori Walkley accepted a jury’s recommendation of the death penalty over life in prison without parole for Alton Nolen. Jurors earlier this year convicted him of decapitating 54-year-old Colleen Hufford when he attacked her at Vaughan Foods — a food processing plant in Moore.
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.”
Investigators said Nolen had just been suspended from his job for making racial remarks when he walked inside the company’s administrative office and attacked Hufford. During the attack the 33-year-old is said to have also stabbed another co-worker repeatedly.
Police say the attack only stopped when the company’s chief operating officer, who was also a reserve sheriff’s deputy at the time, shot Nolen.
But prosecutors said Nolen knew right from wrong before he attacked Hufford.
Nolen had repeatedly tried to plead guilty and asked to be executed, but Walkley declined to accept his plea. One of Nolen’s attorneys had questioned whether his client was mentally competent to enter a guilty plea.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)