Nunn said he was at end of his rope, wanted revenge, police report says

bestep@herald-leader.comSeptember 16, 2009 

MUNFORDVILLE — Former state Rep. Steve Nunn told state police hours after his former fiancée was shot to death that he "was at the end of his rope and wanted revenge" because of a domestic violence dispute with the woman, according to arrest records filed in Hart County.

The arrest warrant, which was filed in Hart County, provides several new details in Nunn's case, including: Nunn wrote a seven-page letter in which he used "derogatory terms" in reference to Amanda Ross; Nunn apologized for "not completing the job" when he slit his wrists in the cemetery where he was eventually arrested; Nunn told police Ross caused him to lose his job and his money; and he evaded the questions when investigators asked whether he killed Ross.

Nunn, 56, was charged late Monday with murder in Ross's slaying. He also was charged with violation of a protective order.

Ross, 29, was found lying in the back corner of the parking lot at 6:36 a.m. Friday at Opera House Square Town Homes, 541 West Short Street. She died later that morning at University of Kentucky Medical Center.

The warrants for Nunn's arrest were served by Kentucky State Police on Monday night at the Hart County jail, where Nunn is being held on six charges of wanton endangerment of a police officer in Hart County for allegedly firing a gun near police officers. Vice-Chief Regional District Judge Derek Reed set Nunn's bond at $57,000 for those charges.

Nunn, the son of former Gov. Louie B. Nunn, had been in The Medical Center at Bowling Green since Friday, when police found him in a Hart County cemetery just hours after Ross was shot to death.

Nunn told police at the cemetery and in the ambulance to the hospital "that he was sorry for not completing the job," Lexington police Detective Todd Iddings wrote in the criminal complaint against Nunn. Nunn also "spoke of revenge and going to the penitentiary," Iddings wrote.

Many have said Ross and Nunn had a rocky relationship. In a court hearing earlier this year, Ross alleged that Nunn struck her four times in the face and threw her against a hallway lamp, breaking it. She said he then threw a cup of bourbon in her face. Nunn said Ross blocked his path to prevent him from leaving her apartment. He admitted slapping her and said Ross offered to let him leave if he let her strike him in the face. She did so, he said.

A family friend says Ross was scared of Nunn and eventually got a license to carry a gun to protect herself after she obtained the protective order.

Nunn resigned as deputy secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in March after he was ordered by a judge to stay away from Ross.

During an interview with state troopers at The Medical Center, Nunn said since the domestic violence dispute with Ross he hadn't been able to find a job and had become a burden to his family.

But when troopers asked Nunn whether he killed Ross, "he either evaded answering the question or advised that he did not want to answer that question," Iddings wrote in the complaint.

According to the complaint, preliminary ballistics tests showed that bullets recovered from Ross's body were .38 special caliber. The handgun Nunn had at the cemetery was a five-shot .38 special revolver, the complaint states.

Nunn fired one shot — the last round in the gun — as police approached him at the Hart County cemetery, the complaint states. When officers recovered the gun, there were five spent shell casings in it.

Officers recovered the seven-page letter in the car Nunn was driving that addressed Nunn's legal issues with Ross and the subsequent problems the situation caused, Iddings wrote in the complaint. The letter also mentions revenge and speaks of Ross in derogatory terms, the complaint states.

Officers also found Nunn's wallet in the car. Iddings wrote in the complaint that investigators traced a credit card in the wallet and discovered it had been used in Versailles, which is on the way to where Nunn was headed, at 6:50 a.m. — nearly 15 minutes after Ross's body was found.

Spiraling down

Friends have said Nunn's life started spiraling out of control years ago — specifically after the death of his father and the divorce from his second wife. His personal and financial problems worsened after he resigned from his job.

In August, Nunn received a line of credit of up to $20,000 on a piece of property he owns on a golf course in Glasgow, according to a mortgage filed at the courthouse in Barren County. The property, 136 Fairway Place, is listed as Nunn's residence, according to court documents.

Last Thursday, Nunn went to Borders Monument Co. to add details to his gravestone. Abe Shelton, owner of the Glasgow business, would not say what Nunn wanted the gravestone to say. But Shelton said Nunn's request "freaked me out."

A friend of Nunn's, Penny Bentley of Lexington, said Nunn told her about three weeks ago that he created a profile on sugardaddies.com — a site for men who "love to spoil and pamper their woman."

A profile, which was apparently made by Nunn, describes him as a "kind and considerate man" with a lot of energy and "a high sex drive." There are several pictures of Nunn on the page, including a half-naked picture.

"I think he was trying to pump his ego back up," Bentley said.

Bentley said Nunn was very angry with Ross. She said she kept telling him, "Do not let this eat you up."

Nunn's ex-wife, Tracey Damron, told the Herald-Leader on Monday that Nunn, a former gubernatorial candidate, realized in recent weeks that the domestic violence charge filed by Ross had permanently damaged his career.

Damron, who says she has talked to her ex-husband several times in recent days, said Nunn took to his bed for two days last month after he entered an Alford plea — he admitted no guilt but acknowledged there was enough evidence to produce a guilty verdict — in the domestic violence case.

Nunn was involved in another legal case in recent months.

According to court documents, in July, Nunn filed charges against Jessica D. Williams, 25, of Louisville alleging she fraudulently used his credit card to buy $722 worth of items from Victoria's Secret; went shopping online and paid a $381 cell phone bill; and stole five $100 bills from his wallet.

Williams was charged with one felony and two misdemeanor counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, and one felony and four misdemeanor counts of theft.

Williams said she met Nunn on the Internet, said Glasgow attorney Robert M. "Buddy" Alexander, who represents her.

Alexander said Williams told him that Nunn gave her $500 to go with him to a houseboat on Dale Hollow Lake.

At the lake, Nunn, who was drinking, took off his clothes and tried to get Williams to have sex with him, but she refused, Alexander said she told him.

Later, Alexander said, Williams went to Nunn's home in Glasgow, where Nunn showed her nude photos of "other conquests."

Alexander said Williams said she used Nunn's credit card, with his permission, to order a pizza at his house.

Williams is to be arraigned in October, but Alexander said he thinks the case will be dismissed.

Nunn's attorney, Astrida Lemkins of Lexington, said she does not think Nunn would file charges without good reason.

"I cannot imagine him doing that other than legitimate reasons," Lemkins said. "Why put yourself in that situation?"

Isolation

Lemkins said she is waiting to find out when the arraignment for the Lexington charges will take place.

"He wants this case dealt with properly with the seriousness of the nature of the offense and the charges against him," she said.

Nunn's oldest daughter, Mary Nunn of Bowling Green, said she has talked to or seen her father every day. She would not say how he was doing.

Lexington police spokesman Lt. Doug Pape would not discuss plans to move Nunn to Lexington. He said that would be dictated by the courts.

Before the murder charge was filed, Lemkins said she thought Nunn would have been released Tuesday morning.

Hart County Jailer Keith Riordan said Lexington police were "afraid (Nunn) was going to make his bond (Tuesday) and get out."

Now, even if Nunn were to post bond for the Hart County charges, he would not be able to leave the jail because there's a holder on him.

Nunn has been in isolation since his arrival at the jail Monday because jail officials wanted to watch him closely for a few days.

Riordan said Nunn had told him he was not suicidal, and even asked to be placed with the general population so he could watch Monday Night Football on ESPN. But Riordan said jail officials, on the advice of a mental-health professional, decided against it.

Riordan said Nunn became upset with the woman, and he asked: "Does that mean I won't get to watch football?"

"I said 'yes sir,'" Riordan recalled.

Herald-Leader reporters Ashlee Clark and Karla Ward contributed to this story.

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