Moore beheading suspect's mom apologizes in video on Facebook
The mother of beheading suspect Alton Nolen apologized to the families of the two victims in a short video posted Saturday night on Facebook.
“My heart is just so heavy right now,” Joyce Nolen said. “That’s not my son.”
The mother explained in the video that what her son is accused of doing is so unlike the good kid she raised up in a loving home.
“My son was raised up believing in God. That’s what he believes,” she said.
The mother apologized halfway through the video which plays for one minute and 38 seconds.
“His family, our hearts bleed right now because what they saying Alton has done,” she said. “I want to apologize to both families — because this is not Alton.”
The mother also said she is praying that justice will prevail and “the whole story will come out.”
Also speaking in the video is Megan Nolen, one of the suspect’s sisters. Megan Nolen, 27, said his family is in shock because he has never been a violent person.
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“We’re praying for both of the victims’ families and the victims,” Megan Nolen said.
“Yes,” her mother adds.
Joyce Nolen, 50, lives in Idabel, where Alton Nolen went to high school.
The two did not say their names in the dimly lit video made inside a residence. The Oklahoman confirmed their identities Sunday with Paige Nolen, who also is a sister of the suspect.
“We are all very remorseful,” Paige Nolen told The Oklahoman. “If he had a chance to say anything, more than likely he would be apologizing, and that’s what we want the world to know.”
Alton Nolen, 30, is accused of beheading one co-worker and slashing another with a knife Thursday afternoon at Vaughan Foods in Moore. Police said he became angry after being fired.
He was stopped when the company’s chief operating officer shot him, police said. Alton Nolen was hospitalized and is expected to recover.
The Muslim convert has spent time in prison on three felony convictions — for assaulting an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper and drug offenses. He was released in March 2013 after spending two years in Oklahoma prisons and community corrections centers.
“He was so happy when he got the job,” Paige Nolen said of his employment at the Moore food processing plant. “He was really happy because everyone he talked to told him it’s going to be hard getting a job with the felonies. ... I’ll never forget, you know, him feeling like he conquered it at that time.”
Paige Nolen, 27, lives in Oklahoma City. She said she talked to her brother Thursday around noon on the phone. “When he called me, he was in high spirits,” she said.
Killed was Colleen Hufford, 54, who a year ago lost her home in the Moore tornado.
Injured was Traci Johnson, 43, of Oklahoma City.
Johnson was taken Thursday to OU Medical Center. She has been released.
Nolen likely will be charged Monday in Cleveland County District Court.
Moore police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis said officers interviewed Nolen on Friday after he regained consciousness in the hospital. Nolen could be transferred to jail sometime early this week, Lewis said Saturday.
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,... Read more ›