405-778-4800
Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW

Jury Recommends Death Sentence in Moore Beheading Case

18-Oct-2017

After Alton Nolen beheaded a co-worker and attempted to behead another at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, there was significant concern over his mental competency. Initially, Nolen attempted to plead guilty and asked to be sentenced to death, but a judge was not sure he was mentally competent to enter a guilty plea and refused to accept the plea pending a competency evaluation. When he was deemed competent, he refused to reiterate his guilty plea, and thus, the case went to trial.

Nolen was charged with first degree murder and multiple assault charges. His defense team argued that their client was not guilty by reason of insanity and claimed that Nolen was schizophrenic. However, earlier this month, a Cleveland County Jury found him guilty of all charges against him.

For the five assault charges of which Nolen was convicted, he was sentenced to three life terms plus 130 years (life sentences for three of the convictions, 75 years for the fourth, and 55 years for the fifth). However, before the jury could recommend the death penalty for the murder conviction, they had specific factors to consider.

First, the crime had to meet one or more of several "aggravating factors" in order to make the defendant eligible for the death penalty.

Cleveland County Assistant District Attorney Susan Caswell presented four aggravating factors during closing arguments: whether the defendant had prior violent felonies, whether the defendant was a threat to society, whether the crime was heinous or cruel, and whether there were other people at grave risk of death.

Second, a defendant is not eligible for the death penalty if he or she is mentally retarded. When the insanity defense failed, jurors had to consider whether or not Nolen was intellectually disabled to the extent he could not legally be sentenced to death. During closing arguments

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn asked, "Mentally retarded? Really?" He further scoffed, "You don't just become mentally retarded when you're facing the death penalty."

In less than an hour, the jury determined that Nolen was not intellectually disabled. After deliberating nearly three hours, they recommended a death sentence for the murder of Colleen Hufford in 2014.

Formal sentencing is scheduled for December 15.

 

 



All News

More News

Weatherford Resident with al Quaeda Ties Attended Chickasha Flight School
12-Feb-2018

A Saudi national living in Weatherford was indicted last week on c..

Actor Awaiting Child Porn Sentencing Found Dead
31-Jan-2018

Former "Glee" actor Mark Salling, who was awaiting sentencing on c..

Oklahoma City Man Arrested for Child Pornography Twice in Two Years
18-Jan-2018

Canadian County Sheriff's Deputies arrested an Oklahoma City man o..

Ex-Pharmacist Appeals Murder Conviction in Federal Court
01-Jan-2018

On May 19, 2009, two masked intruders attempted to rob the Reliabl..

Despite Denied Request, U.S. Justice Department Plans Inspection of Oklahoma County Jail
27-Dec-2017

There is no question that the Oklahoma County Jail has had more th..

Oklahoma County Jail Criticized for Lack of Transparency in Jail Deaths
23-Dec-2017

Last year, the Oklahoma County Jail broke a new record, although i..

ACLU Seeks Justice for Mom Serving 30 Years for "Failure to Protect"
12-Dec-2017

Life wasn't going well for Tolando Hall or her children in 2004. H..

Tulsa Man "Wins" Appeal, but Gets Longer Sentence as a Result
07-Dec-2017

It was a short-lived victory for a Tulsa County man convicted of r..

Yukon High School Teacher Charged After Allegations of Sex with Student
28-Nov-2017

Another Oklahoma teacher has been arrested and charged with a sex ..

Oklahoma District Attorneys Council to Implement Roadside Scanners to Catch Uninsured Motorists
22-Nov-2017

Oklahoma is believed to be the first state in the nation to implem..

×