Steve Nunn admitted to psychiatric center for second evaluation

jhewlett@herald-leader.comMarch 4, 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 death of his former fiancée, Amanda Ross, has been admitted to the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange for a second evaluation.

Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine issued an order in January that Nunn, 58, be examined at the facility, several weeks after the Fayette commonwealth's attorney's office requested the examination.

Nunn, the son of former Kentucky governor Louie B. Nunn, is scheduled to go on trial Aug. 1 in the death of Ross, 29, who was shot outside her Lexington home.

The former lawmaker was initially taken to the center in January 2010 for an evaluation to determine whether he was competent to assist in his defense. Nunn was taken to KCPC on Feb. 23, according to a document filed this week in the Fayette Circuit Court clerk's office.

The purpose of the second evaluation, according to the order, is to determine whether he should be held responsible "for his alleged conduct." Under a state law, a person is not responsible for criminal conduct that occurs while the person has a mental disease or defect that leaves him without substantial capacity to "appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law."

Nunn's attorneys have told the court they intend to use expert testimony and other evidence of mental and/or emotional problems during his murder trial. Filing such a notice does not mean that such evidence will be introduced at trial.

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