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Judge denies accepting guilty plea in beheading case; orders another mental exam for suspect

Posted at 1:30 PM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 14:48:37-04

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- A judge in Oklahoma has refused to accept a guilty plea from a man accused of beheading a co-worker at a food processing plant in 2014.

Cleveland County District Judge Lori Walkley ruled Wednesday that she wouldn't accept the plea from Alton Nolen, who has said he wants the death penalty for the attack at Vaughan Foods in Moore. Walkley said Nolen was not mentally competent to make the plea and ordered another mental evaluation.

RELATED: Oklahoma judge rules beheading suspect competent for trial

Nolen entered the guilty plea to a first-degree murder charge in the beheading of 54-year-old Colleen Hufford shortly after he was suspended from the company for making racial remarks.

District Attorney Greg Mashburn tells Oklahoma City television station KFOR that he believes Nolen is mentally competent and he hopes the delay won't be lengthy.