Former state Rep. Steve Nunn has hired a new attorney — Warren Scoville of London — to defend him against charges that he murdered his former fiancée.
Lexington attorney Astrida Lemkins said Tuesday that Scoville has told her she is no longer a part of Nunn's defense team.
Scoville declined to comment Tuesday to a Herald-Leader reporter, but he told CNHI News Service that he had been hired to assemble a defense team for Nunn. Community Newspapers Holdings Inc., which owns several small daily newspapers in Kentucky, reported Tuesday that Nunn's home and property in Glasgow had been transferred to Scoville's law firm as payment.
Nunn, 56, has pleaded not guilty to the Sept. 11 murder of Amanda Ross, 29, who was shot in the early morning outside her downtown Lexington home. Police found Nunn a few hours later in a Hart County cemetery with slit wrists.
A Fayette Circuit Court clerk said Tuesday that Nunn had not yet been indicted on the charges. If convicted, Nunn could face the death penalty.
Nunn is a former Republican gubernatorial candidate and the son of the late Gov. Louie B. Nunn. Steve Nunn resigned his position as deputy secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services in March after Ross successfully sought a domestic violence order of protection against him.
Lemkins said Tuesday in a telephone interview that Nunn's daughter, Mary Nunn, had hired Scoville. Lemkins said she had wanted Scoville to be a part of Nunn's legal defense team because he has previously tried a death penalty case.
Lemkins said she had been an attorney for only six years and had never tried a death penalty case. Still, Lemkins said she was unhappy that she would no longer be part of the legal team.
"I had a contract with Steve Nunn," Lemkins said.
Scoville "interfered in that contract," she said.
According to the Web site for Scoville's law firm, he has served as chairman of the Republican State Convention and as finance chairman of the Kentucky Republican Party. He has represented several prominent clients, including Leona Helmsley, the hotel magnate who went to prison for tax evasion.