Nunn in protective custody at jail after inmate threatens him

Ex-lawmaker target of alleged threat

jkegley@herald-leader.comJune 7, 2011 

Former state representative Steve Nunn, who is in jail awaiting trial on a murder charge, was placed in protective custody in the Fayette County jail Monday after he allegedly was threatened by another inmate.

It was the second such incident in a month. Nunn, accused of killing his former fiancée, Amanda Ross, was beaten up by an inmate while the two were playing basketball May 9.

Capt. Darrin Kelly said corrections officers were involved in a minor standoff Monday with federal inmate Marshall Dewayne Williams, who became angry and threatened to hurt Nunn.

The altercation began about 12:30 p.m. and lasted about an hour, Kelly said. Ultimately, no one was hurt.

Williams "never actually did do anything to" Nunn, Kelly said.

Williams barricaded the door to the common room so corrections officers couldn't enter, and used an object to jam open the door to Nunn's cell so it couldn't be shut remotely, Kelly said. Nunn was on his bunk during the altercation.

Williams entered Nunn's cell several times and was holding a broom while he was threatening to hurt the former lawmaker.

"We talked him down for about an hour," Kelly said. An emergency response team then forced its way into the common room and subdued Williams.

Kelly said the incident was being investigated Monday night. It wasn't clear what set Williams off or what objects he used to block the doors.

Williams was placed in disciplinary housing.

"We actually moved Nunn to protective custody because this is the second incident we've had in a month with him," Kelly said.

Williams, 48, was last in the news in April when, as an inmate at Big Sandy Penitentiary in Inez, he was charged with 21 counts of falsely telling federal judges and several Kentucky congressmen that whoever opened a letter would be exposed to anthrax or smallpox.

In the May 9 incident involving Nunn, inmate Ronald "Li'l Ron" Hill punched Nunn in the head and face during an argument while the two were playing basketball.

Lexington police investigated the incident and said they would present the case to a judge if Nunn pressed charges. As of Monday, there apparently were no charges against Hill stemming from the incident.

Nunn is awaiting trial in the Sept. 11, 2009, slaying of Ross, 29, who was found shot outside her Opera House Square town home. Nunn is charged with murder and violating a domestic violence order of protection.

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