An Oklahoma man is facing the death penalty after his co-worker was beheaded. Authorities said that 30-year-old Alton Nolen uttered Arabic words as he cut off co-worker Colleen Hufford’s head. The beheading, believed to be inspired by ISIS in the Middle East, occurred shortly after Nolen was suspended for a racially-charged altercation. He is a recent convert to Islam.
Nolen was suspended Thursday after another co-worker at the Vaughn Foods plant, Traci Johnson, complained that she and Nolen had an argument “about him not liking white people.” Police report that shortly after being suspended, Nolen retrieved a knife from his home and returned to exact revenge for the suspension. He had the knife in his shoe. According to prosecutor, Nolen walked into the plant’s administrative office, ran into Hufford and severed her head from behind. Then, he saw Johnson and “cut her across the throat and left side of her face” He was allegedly attempting to behead her, too.
Due to the similarities between Nolen’s actions and those of ISIS, the FBI is now investigating the case. He has since been charged with first-degree murder and could receive the death penalty if convicted.
“There was some sort of infatuation with beheadings. It seemed to be related to his interest in killing someone that way,” Cleveland County Prosecutor Greg Mashburn said. “Other than that, it seemed to be related to his being suspended earlier in the day.”
“It had more to do with race rather than trying to convert people,” said Mashburn.
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