A manager at an Oklahoma food processing plant testified Friday that he tried but failed to stop a beheading attack three years ago.
He attempted to stop his co-worker, who had been suspended earlier that day, from attacking another employee with a butcher knife by severing her head.
Gary Hazelrigg told jurors that the victim, Colleen Hufford, was ‘completely surprised’ when Alton Nolen came up behind her, pulled her head back and drew the knife across her throat.
‘I was looking at something horrific – something that people shouldn’t have to see,’ said Hazelrigg, adding that he was ‘pretty much powerless to do anything about it.’
Hazelrigg, who was the customer service manager at the Vaughan Foods plant at the time, told the jury that he screamed and cursed at Nolen during the attack and tried to pull him off Hufford.
‘Sadly, it was to no avail. He was not to be moved,’ Hazelrigg testified.
Hazelrigg, who now works in transportation at the plant, was the first witness to testify in Nolen’s first-degree murder trial over the Sept. 25, 2014, attack.
Nolen, 33, is also charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon for allegedly attempting to behead a second co-worker at the plant in Moore, an Oklahoma City suburb. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Nolen has repeatedly tried to plead guilty and has asked to be executed, but Cleveland County District Judge Lori Walkley has declined to accept his plea.
As originally reported, Oklahoma: Muslim beheads woman, attacks another at food processing plant.
Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis said police are waiting until Alton Nolen, 30, is conscious to arrest him in Thursday’s attack and have asked the FBI to help investigate after co-workers at Vaughan Foods in the south Oklahoma City suburb told authorities that he recently started trying to convert several employees to Islam.
Nolen allegedly stabbed Colleen Hufford, 54, severing her head, Lewis said.
“Yes, she was beheaded,” Lewis told The Associated Press before a Friday news conference.
Lewis said Nolen then allegedly stabbed Traci Johnson, 43, a number of times before Mark Vaughan, a reserve sheriff’s deputy and the company’s chief operating officer, shot him.
“This was not going to stop if he didn’t stop it. It could have gotten a lot worse,” Lewis said. “The threat had already stopped once we arrived.”
The media, then and now, refuse to report that Nolen chose the Muslim name Jah’Keem Yisrael and Celebrated Terrorists, Disparaged Non-Muslims On Facebook.
He also wrote “SHARIA LAW IS COMING!!!!” alongside a picture of Pope Benedict XVI.