Man accused of fatally shooting victim in head during scuffle in Lexington pleads guilty

Jesse Ray Nance, Jr.
Jesse Ray Nance, Jr.

A Lexington man who broke into a home and fatally shot a man during a scuffle involving a shotgun pleaded guilty Friday to reduced charges. according to court records.

Jesse Ray Nance, Jr., 34, pleaded guilty Friday morning to manslaughter, second-degree assault and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to court records. He was initially charged with murder in the death of 48-year-old John Moffett Jr., who police say he killed Feb. 25, 2017.

Nance allegedly shot through a door of a home on Chestnut Street before going inside, Lexington detective Timothy Upchurch said in testimony in 2017. One of the people in the house feared that Nance would shoot someone and tried to get Nance’s gun, Upchurch said. Moffett was shot during the scuffle.

Officers found Nance walking out of the house holding a shotgun. Nance dropped the shotgun and was taken into custody without incident, according to police.

Police said Nance and Moffett knew each other and had gotten into a fight the day before the shooting.

A woman was also found outside the house with a gunshot wound to her leg, police said.

Nance has not been formally sentenced.

Mike Stunson covers breaking news and real-time news for the Lexington Herald-Leader and He is a 2011 Western Kentucky University graduate who has previously worked at the Paducah Sun and Madisonville Messenger as a sports reporter.