Alton Nolen not in court as hearing continues

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NORMAN, Okla. - The man accused of beheading one coworker and stabbing another decided not to sit in the courtroom as his competency hearing entered a second day.

Sheriff's deputies removed Alton Nolen Monday morning after an outburst in the courtroom.

"He wouldn’t even come out of his cell to talk to the judge about coming over this morning," said Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn.

But, the absence of Nolen - who, prior to Monday's episode, hardly spoke during his court proceedings and, at times, appeared to nod off - had little to no effect.

The defense called witnesses from a mental health facility in Vinita, as the judge determines Nolen's competency to stand trial.

Judge Lori Walkley ordered the hearing after refusing to accept his guilty plea in August.

Tuesday, nurses and aides who worked with Nolen described him as polite and frequently compliant.

But, Nolen also had occasional angry outbursts, calling medical staff "evil" and threatening to "knock their (expletive) teeth out" when things didn't go his way.

Cleveland County sheriff's deputies testified Nolen would get physical with them.

"I don't trust him, because he's an aggressive person," a jail employee told the court. "He's tried to hurt us before."

Prosecutors tried to key in on defense witnesses to show Nolen was a reasonable, competent person despite his outbursts.

"Our argument is that he is making choices to participate when he wants to, not participate and be aggressive when he wants to," Mashburn said.

Testimony will continue at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning as the prosecution calls its witnesses.

The judge told the court she will ask Nolen to attend.

The judge could rule on Nolen's competency by Thursday.

Defense attorneys declined to comment on the proceedings.

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