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she told ju­rors.

Cleve­land County District At­tor­ney Greg Mash­burn, though, told the jury the ev­i­dence will show Nolen made choices in car­ry­ing out the at­tack that prove he knew what he was do­ing was wrong.

“This de­fen­dant was pur­pose­ful and de­lib­er­ate,” the pros­e­cu­tor said in his open­ing state­ment. “He was clear in his thoughts and in­tent.”

The pros­e­cu­tor pointed out that Nolen waited to be­gin his at­tack un­til af­ter a se­cu­rity guard left for the day. He also pointed out Nolen hid the mur­der weapon, a knife, in a sock to sneak back into the food plant af­ter be­ing sus­pended.

Nolen, 33, is charged with first-de­gree mur­der and five as­sault counts. If con­victed of first-de­gree mur­der, he could be sen­tenced to life in prison, life without the pos­si­bil­ity of pa­role or death.

If found not guilty by rea­son of in­san­ity, Nolen would be sent to the state’s men­tal fa­cil­ity in Vinita, pos­si­bly for the rest of his life.

Three years since at­tack

He is ac­cused in the mur­der count of be­head­ing co-worker Colleen Huf­ford in­side Vaughan Foods on Sept. 25, 2014, shortly af­ter he was sus­pended for mak­ing racial re­marks. She was 54.

The district at­tor­ney called the vic­tim “one of the most kind and car­ing ladies that you’ll ever meet.” He called Nolen’s at­tack on her fe­ro­cious and bru­tal.

The district at­tor­ney also re­vealed to ju­rors that the ev­i­dence will show Nolen at­tacked her by mis­take. The district at­tor­ney said Nolen mis­took Huf­ford for an­other woman who had bumped into him days be­fore by ac­ci­dent.

Us­ing ges­tures, Mash­burn demon­strated to ju­rors how Nolen at­tacked Huf­ford from be­hind and drew the knife across her neck. “She gasps and starts fight­ing for her life,” the district at­tor­ney said.

Nolen is ac­cused in three of the as­sault counts of fight­ing off co­work­ers who tried to stop him. The district at­tor­ney told ju­rors Nolen went back each time to saw­ing the vic­tim’s neck.

“He will not be de­terred. He is there to be­head his op­pres­sors,” Mash­burn said.

Nolen is ac­cused in the other as­sault counts of try­ing to be­head an­other co-worker, Traci John­son, and of charg­ing with a knife at the com­pany’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer.

Act­ing like he was point­ing a ri­fle, the district at­tor­ney told ju­rors the com­pany ex­ec­u­tive, Mark Vaughan, a re­serve Ok­la­homa County sher­iff’s deputy, fired three times. One shot grazed Nolen, one shot missed and one shot hit, stop­ping him, the district at­tor­ney said.

Mash­burn said John­son had been work­ing at the plant only a few days.

Ju­rors to see pho­tos

Af­ter the open­ing state­ments, District Judge Lori Walk­ley went over with prose­cu­tors and de­fense at­tor­neys what pho­tos ju­rors will be al­lowed to see.

The judge ruled ju­rors will be able to see one photo of the vic­tim’s sev­ered head at the plant. De­fense at­tor­neys had com­plained that photo was too prej­u­di­cial and un­nec­es­sary.

The trial is ex­pected to last three to four more weeks. The judge started the trial early, be­gin­ning jury se­lec­tion Sept. 8.

Jury se­lec­tion was com­pleted Thurs­day. Eight men and four women were cho­sen to serve. There are three al­ter­nates.

Ju­rors were told by the de­fense that Nolen wanted to plead guilty and get the death penalty.

Nolen ac­tu­ally did plead guilty last year to first-de­gree mur­der and two of the as­sault counts. The judge put off ac­cept­ing the plea un­til she re­solved ques­tions at a hear­ing in April about his men­tal state.

Af­ter rul­ing on the men­tal is­sues, the judge was pre­pared to de­cide his pun­ish­ment her­self. How­ever, by law, Nolen had to ac­knowl­edge in court he stood by his guilty plea. He re­fused to even talk to or look at the judge so she or­dered a jury trial in­stead.

She gave him an­other chance last week to stand by his guilty plea but he again re­fused to talk to her.


San­dra Allen picks up her or­der at Urb Ex­press dur­ing the open­ing day of the 2017 Ok­la­homa State Fair in Ok­la­homa City. Urb Ex­press won the Great Taste of a Fair food award with its Honey Ba­con Pep­per Dog.


The Honey Pep­per Ba­con Dog from The Urb Ex­press was named FAIRest of All dishes in the Great Taste of a Fair com­pe­ti­tion on Wed­nes­day. The Urb Ex­press is op­er­ated by Chickasha’s Josh Woods and Zachary Grayson.


The Frozen Hot Choco­late from A Latte Love won the Sweet­est of the Sweet category of the Great Taste of a Fair com­pe­ti­tion at the 2017 Ok­la­homa State Fair.


Bob Akerman and his sis­ter Lou Hooper en­joy the Honey Ba­con Pep­per Dog from Urb Ex­press on Thurs­day dur­ing the open­ing day of the 2017 Ok­la­homa State Fair in Ok­la­homa City.


Ir­ish Break­fast Tacos from St. Paddy’s Cakes were named best new dish at this year’s Ok­la­homa State Fair in the Great Taste of a Fair com­pe­ti­tion.


The Urb Ex­press won the 2017 Great Taste of a Fair food award for its Honey Ba­con Pep­per Dog.

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