Prosecutor: Suspect had infatuation with beheadings

Nolen's Facebook page included anti-American posts and a beheading

Alton Nolen

(CNN) – Chilling new details have emerged about the attack in which an Oklahoma man beheaded his coworker.

Prosecutors say the suspect, Alton Nolen, “didn’t like white people” and had an “infatuation” with beheadings. Nolen had just been suspended from his job at a food processing plant, and attacked the first person he saw there.

Armed with a long, sharp kitchen knife, and bent on revenge, Alton Nolen had just been suspended from work and was after the woman he believed responsible.

Details released by the District Attorney reveal Vaughan Foods employee Traci Johnson reported Nolen to management after he made racially-charged comments.

Greg Mashburn, the Cleveland County District Attorney, said, “He was basically saying that he didn’t like white people and had this altercation with our second victim regarding that.”

Court documents say Nolen entered the food processing plant where he worked and killed the first person he could reach. He grabbed Colleen Hufford from behind and severed her head.

What followed was a scene of absolute panic and horror as employees tried to protect themselves and each other as Nolen reached his intended target Traci Johnson.

Mashburn said, “They tried chairs, they tried kicking, they were trying to help their coworker.”

Nolen allegedly admitted he planned to behead Johnson as well. He “cut her across the throat and left side of her face.” Her life was saved when the plant owner wounded Nolen with a rifle.

Now likely facing the death penalty, questions persist about Nolen’s motivation.

Mashburn said, “He was using some Arabic terms during the attacks and certainly that’s one of the many reasons why the FBI is involved at this point in time.”

Described as a convert to Islam, Nolen’s Facebook page included anti-American posts and a beheading. But local authorities will prosecute Nolen in court on murder charges, not terrorism.

Mashburn said, “Obviously there was some sort of infatuation with beheadings and that’s obvious from the Facebook posts. So the manner in which it was carried out seems to be related to his interest in killing someone in that way, but other than that it seems like an isolated incident that was triggered by the incident that happened earlier in the day.”

The investigation continues, with local authorities leaving it to the FBI to determine if such a violent and terrifying attack can be labeled ‘terrorism.’

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