Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine has scheduled an August trial for former state lawmaker Steve Nunn, who is accused of murder in the death of former fiancée Amanda Ross.
The jury trial, expected to last 16 days, is set for Aug. 1 to 25, according to documents filed Monday in circuit court. The trial will be held Monday through Thursday.
The judge also overruled a motion by Nunn's attorneys to suppress statements Nunn made to Kentucky State Police Sgt. Todd Combs at Bowling Green Medical Center, where Nunn was taken with apparently self-inflicted knife wounds hours after Ross, 29, was killed outside her Lexington home on Sept. 11, 2009.
Nunn had earlier invoked his right to remain silent, but Combs proceeded to interrogate Nunn anyway and surreptitiously record the questioning, defense attorneys said in the motion. Nunn's constitutional rights were violated, they said.
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Nunn, whom police said they had found injured in Cosby Cemetery in Hart County after Ross was shot, was read his Miranda rights, which include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney, at the cemetery by KSP Detective Tim Adams, according to court testimony and documents. Nunn made several voluntary statements before he was read his rights at the cemetery, including "I'm a criminal and I'm going to prison," according to testimony at a hearing on the defense motion several weeks ago.
According to a recording made at the time, Adams read Nunn his rights and then asked Nunn whether he wanted "to make any kind of a statement at this time."
"I'm sorry," Nunn responded.
"Do you want to talk about anything?" Adams asked.
"No, sir," Nunn said.
Nunn was not placed under arrest at the cemetery.
Combs testified that he did not readminister Miranda warnings at the hospital because he was told by another officer that Nunn already had been given them. Combs testified that Nunn initiated the conversation with him at the hospital and did not say he wanted to stop talking or that he wanted an attorney present.
However, Nunn indicated he did not want to answer some questions about circumstances surrounding the Ross shooting asked of him by Combs.
After telling Nunn he did not have to answer questions, Combs said to Nunn: "Obviously something went on this morning at her, Amanda's residence, OK. What we don't know is what led to causing the incident, OK? I mean was there an argument? Was everything OK? You know, what happened?"
"I guess I don't want to answer that one right now," Nunn responded.
Goodwine said in her ruling that it is clear Nunn "fully understood his rights and acted in a manner inconsistent with the exercise of those rights."
Goodwine set several deadlines she expects attorneys to meet in the months leading up to the trial. For example, defense attorneys must file a notice of any mental illness by Dec. 31. Prosecutors must provide by Feb. 28 copies of any reports or written opinions of any expert witnesses they will call at trial. The defense must provide by March 31 copies of any reports or written opinions or conclusions of any expert witnesses who might be called to testify at trial.
The judge also ordered several hearings before the trial to discuss various issues associated with the case.
In August, Goodwine ruled that the death penalty would remain as a possible punishment for Nunn, should he be convicted. A domestic violence order, which Ross had sought, and a no-contact order were in effect to protect Ross from Nunn at the time Ross was killed — an aggravating circumstance, according to prosecutors.
Nunn, 57, is the son of former Kentucky Gov. Louie Nunn, who died in 2004.