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Court again rejects appeal of Oklahoman in beheading

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has again rejected claims by a death row inmate in the beheading of a co-worker.

The court denied claims for post-conviction relief by Alton Alexander Nolen, 37, that included what his attorneys said was new information about his mental illness.

“Any evidence regarding Nolen’s current competency or mental decline has no bearing on the post-conviction proceedings,” according to the court’s decision Thursday.

The same court ruled in March 2021 that Nolen was mentally competent to stand trial.

The court ruled other claims, including juror misconduct, ineffective assistance of counsel and prosecutorial misconduct were barred from review because they could have been raised on direct appeal.

Nolen was convicted and sentenced to death for the 2014 killing of 54-year-old Colleen Hufford at Vaughan Foods. Prosecutors said Nolen killed Hufford and wounded another co-worker after being suspended from his job at the plant for making threatening statements to co-workers.