'My son was a good kid': Mother of workplace beheading suspect speaks out
By RYAN GORMAN
Relatives of the main suspect in an Oklahoma workplace beheading insist that he is a good person and would never hurt anyone.
Mother Joyce Nolen and sister Megan Nolen made the emotional claims in a video posted Saturday to Facebook. Accused killer Alton Nolen has a violent criminal past and has spent multiple stints in prison, records have shown.
"My son was a good kid," said Joyce Nolen. "I know what they saying that he done, but I'm gonna tell you this - that's not my son."
The family statement came one day after a suburban Oklahoma City workplace rampage that resulted in Alton Nolen being shot by his former boss after beheading Colleen Hufford, 54, and while stabbing 43-year-old Tracy Johnson as he shouted Muslim sayings, police said.
"There's two sides to every story," Joyce Nolen angrily insisted. "We're only hearing one... our hearts bleed right now.
"What they sayin' Alton has done, I want to apologize to both families because this is not Alton," she continued, as daughter Megan Nolen sat silently by her side.
"I'm praying that justice will prevail, the whole story will come out," she added. "The whole story."
Alton Nolen was distraught after being fired from Vaughan Foods, authorities said. Co-workers told local media that he had recently been trying to convert them to Islam.
"My brother, he's always been a great person, a loving person" said Megan Nolen. "He's always been a people person, he's never been a violent person."
Court records show that Alton Nolen has been convicted multiple times of assaulting a police officer and on drug charges. Those convictions landed him in prison on three separate occasions.
Alton Nolen was released from prison only last year. He was also in the midst of serving a suspended sentence - for assaulting a police officer.
Vaughan Foods CEO Mark Vaughan, also a reserve deputy with the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office, shot the violent man four times with a rifle before the frenzied attack came to an end, according to reports.
"We're all still in shock right now," said Megan Nolen. "We just ask that everyone out there pray for us.
"We're praying for both of the victims' families," she continued. "We just ask that everyone keep us in their prayers."
Alton Nolen is in the hospital and expected to recover from his wounds.
The ex-con will eventually be charged with first-degree murder and assault and battery with a deadly weapon, according to reports. He may also face federal terrorism charges.
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