Nunn's effort to pay legal bills thwarted

ROSS'S FAMILY STAKES A CLAIM

bestep@herald-leader.com and kward1@herald-leader.comNovember 18, 2009 

Former state Rep. Steve Nunn's Glasgow home was sold at auction last weekend to help pay his legal bills, but the money from the sale might be tied up for a while.

Nunn faces a murder charge in the shooting of former fiancée Amanda Ross.

An agreed order for injunctive relief, filed Monday in Fayette Circuit Court, is part of a wrongful death lawsuit filed in late September by Ross's mother, Diana Ross.

Under the agreement, proceeds from the sale of Nunn's house and personal property are to be held in escrow "until further orders from the court."

Nunn transferred the deed to his home at 136 Fairway Place in Glasgow to his defense firm, The Scoville Law Firm PLLC, on Oct. 16 as payment for "non-refundable attorney fees" to represent him in the death of Ross, the deed states.

The home, valued at $200,000, sold at auction Saturday for $170,000.

According to the agreed order, Diana Ross raised objections to that sale, including that Nunn "fraudulently conveyed real property to The Scoville Firm and/or fraudulently conveyed personal property to Mary Nunn, Robert Nunn and/or Courtney Nunn."

The document says the Nunns and the law firm dispute the claims of fraudulent conveyance. Nonetheless, the agreement states that proceeds from the sale of the real estate and Nunn's personal property are to be held in escrow.

Court documents hint at possible money troubles for Nunn. His father, the late Gov. Louie Nunn, left him more than $651,000 in cash, according to Louie Nunn's probated will in Woodford County. But this summer, Nunn took out a $20,000 line of credit on his property in Glasgow, according to documents filed at the Barren County courthouse.

Nunn was in court Tuesday in Hart County to plead not guilty to six counts of wanton endangerment.

Nunn has been held in jail in Lexington, but police took him to Hart County to answer the charges there. His attorney, Warren Scoville of London, waived a formal reading of the indictment against Nunn and entered the not-guilty plea for him.

Nunn, 57, is accused of firing a .38-caliber pistol near six police officers who approached him just hours after Amanda Ross was shot to death outside her Lexington home about 6:30 a.m. Sept. 11.

Police were looking for Nunn because Ross had gotten an emergency protection order against Nunn several months earlier after alleging he had hit her. Police found Nunn at the rural Hart County cemetery where his parents are buried.

His wrists were cut, and there was blood on the back of a headstone that Nunn apparently had been sitting against.

Nunn fired one shot "in the vicinity" of police, then "went to the ground along with the gun," according to the indictment and a citation.

Police took Nunn into custody without further incident.

Police have said Nunn did not point the gun directly at them. The indictment in Hart County, filed earlier this month, alleges that he endangered police officers by firing the shot, however.

The officers were state troopers Lonnie Hodges, Jonathan McChesney and Jonathan Biven; Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton; and Barren County deputies Rusty Anderson and Steve Runyon, according to the indictment.

On Tuesday, Nunn, who has grown a beard, was wearing a green jumpsuit and beige sandals and was chained at the ankles during his arraignment. He did not speak during the court appearance, which lasted a minute or two.

Circuit Judge Charles C. Simms III scheduled Nunn's trial for June 14. Scoville declined to comment after Tuesday's hearing.

Hart County Commonwealth's Attorney Terry Geoghegan declined to comment about the facts of the case but said he was working with Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson to determine which of Nunn's cases should be tried first.

Geoghegan said the murder case in Lexington obviously is the more serious. Developments in that case will affect whether Nunn's trial in Hart County goes forward as scheduled June 14, he said.

Reached by telephone Tuesday evening, Larson declined to discuss which case might proceed first.

"I have talked to Terry (Geoghegan), and we will continue to communicate about both cases," Larson said.

Nunn was returned to the Fayette County jail Tuesday. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on the Fayette County charges.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service