Moore beheading trial: “I found him to be quite delusional”

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NORMAN, Okla. -- Two mental health experts called in the trial of Alton Nolen have testified the beheading suspect is mentally ill.

Dr. Antoinette McGarrahan, a licensed psychiatrist of 17 years, was first called by Nolen's defense attorneys Monday to testify in the third week of trial. Nolen is accused of beheading his coworker Colleen Hufford and attacking another coworker, Traci Johnson, inside Vaughan Foods in September 2014.

Hufford died from her injuries, but Johnson survived.

In court Monday, Dr. McGarrahan testified she believes Nolen suffers from schizophrenia. From a past evaluation of him, she said he was fidgety, agitated, and easily distracted.

During the state's cross examination Tuesday morning, assistant district attorney Susan Caswell questioned whether those behaviors presented by Nolen always indicate mental illness.

McGarrahan testified 'no', admitting her diagnosis of Nolen could be considered "somewhat subjective"; however, she is trained to make that kind of diagnosis.

She also testified in court Tuesday she didn't believe Nolen had a motive to fake a mental illness.

The second witness to testify in court Tuesday was Dr. Anita Jeanne Russell, a psychologist based in Tulsa. Dr. Russell, like McGarrahan, told the court Nolen was mentally ill and "insane" during the incident.

Russell met with Nolen in 2015 for an evaluation. She testified he cooperated but tried to dictate the conversation, adding he would not talk about his personal life.

"I found him to be quite delusional," she told the court Tuesday.

State prosecutors called more than 20 witnesses to the stand during their presentation of evidence. Many of them were former colleagues of Nolen or investigators who interviewed him.

The state made it a point to ask most of their witnesses during the first five days of trial whether Nolen ever appeared to be hallucinating or hearing voices. All answered no.

McGarrahan testified in court not having hallucinations does not indicate not having a mental illness.

Wednesday's testimony will begin with the defense finishing up their questions for Russell.

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