Prosecutors seek to block Steve Nunn from getting photos of Amanda Ross

jkegley@herald-leader.comApril 26, 2013 

Prosecutors filed a motion Friday asking a Fayette Circuit Court judge to reconsider whether to allow convicted murderer Steve Nunn to see candid photographs of the woman he killed.

The motion, filed Friday by Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn, said "it is offensive and shocking" that Nunn could have access to photos of his ex-fiancée, Amanda Ross, who he pleaded guilty in June 2011 to killing.

The photos are thought to be included in six boxes of evidence Nunn has been seeking while he prepares to contest his sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Warren Scoville, Nunn's former defense attorney, gave the boxes to the court in February.

The photos are among documents protected from public release by a court order. Fayette Circuit Court Judge Pamela Goodwine ruled Tuesday that Nunn could access the evidence provided he didn't disseminate the photos publicly.

However, Red Corn and Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson have argued that Nunn should not be able to see the protected evidence. Other documents protected by the court order include photos of other, unidentified women; Ross's autopsy photos; and a letter from Nunn to Ross's mother, "which contains injurious information, which may or may not be true, regarding the victim's past relationship with certain individuals," according to Friday's motion.

"The Commonwealth can think of no reason the defendant would need those documents to prepare post-conviction pleadings," Red Corn wrote.

The documents were gathered as evidence by Lexington police as they investigated Ross's 2009 murder. Police provided copies of the photos and letter to prosecutors, who then provided copies to Scoville.

According to police reports previously released to the Herald-Leader through an open records request, detectives interviewed dozens of people who said Nunn showed them nude photos of Ross in the months leading up to her murder and threatened to distribute them to ruin her career.

Nunn apparently blamed Ross for ruining his career in state government after she pressed domestic violence charges against him in February 2009, the documents said.

Nunn, in a motion filed April 1, said that withholding evidence "on prurient grounds" failed standards of consistency. He noted the prison where he is serving his sentence, Green River Correctional Complex in Muhlenberg County, allows inmates to receive "men's magazines."

Nunn has objected to court officials and prosecutors opening the sealed boxes and deciding what he can see. He has said he needs the evidence to prepare either a motion to vacate his sentence or a writ of habeus corpus contesting the legality of his imprisonment.

Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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