Judge orders mental examination for Steve Nunn

kward1@herald-leader.comJanuary 31, 2011 

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Steve Nunn, shown at a court hearing in August 2010, pleaded guilty to murder in the 2009 death of his former fiancée.

PABLO ALCALA

Former state Rep. Steve Nunn, who is charged with murder in the 2009 shooting of his former fiancee, Amanda Ross, has been ordered to undergo a mental examination at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in LaGrange.

On Monday, Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine issued an order for the examination, which the Fayette commonwealth's attorney's office had requested a few weeks ago.

Nunn, 58, is being held at the Fayette County Detention Center.

Under Goodwine's order, the sheriff's department is to take him to the psychiatric center when the center gives notification "that bed space is available" and return him to the jail when he is discharged.

Nunn was taken to the center a year ago for an evaluation to determine whether he was competent to assist in his own defense.

The purpose of this evaluation, according to the order, is to determine whether he should be held responsible "for his alleged conduct," based on a state law that says that "a person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct, as a result of mental disease or defect, he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law."

Nunn's attorneys told the court in late December that they intend to use expert testimony and other evidence of mental and/or emotional problems during his murder trial, although a defense attorney not associated with the case has said that does not necessarily mean they will do so. State law and rules of criminal procedure require such notices in order for attorneys to use such evidence at trial.

The trial is scheduled to begin on Aug. 1.

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