NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — A judge has ordered a mental competency exam for a man accused of beheading a co-worker at a food processing plant in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoman reports that defense attorneys for 30-year-old Alton Alexander Nolen requested the evaluation. Cleveland County District Judge Lori Walkley agreed to their request, and her order was filed Wednesday morning.
Nolen is charged with first-degree murder in the Sept 25, 2014, death of 54-year-old Colleen Hufford. He is accused of beheading Hufford and stabbing another woman, Traci Johnson, at Vaughan Foods after he was suspended from his job at the plant for racial remarks.
Mark Vaughan, the chief operating officer of Vaughan Foods and a reserve Oklahoma County sheriff's deputy, ended the attack when he shot Nolen. According to police, witnesses said Nolen had become "increasingly violent, disrespectful and aggressive" at work.
Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.
An expert from the state Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Department will examine Nolen and will report findings to Walkley. The order puts the case on hold until at least June 10.
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