Crime

Judge overrules defense's request to exclude death penalty in Nunn case

Steve Nunn, shown at a court hearing in August 2010, pleaded guilty to murder in the 2009 death of his former fiancée.
Steve Nunn, shown at a court hearing in August 2010, pleaded guilty to murder in the 2009 death of his former fiancée.

A judge has overruled a motion by defense attorneys to exclude "aggravated penalties," including the death penalty, as possible punishment in the murder case against Steve Nunn.

Bette Niemi, one of Nunn's attorneys, had filed the motion earlier this month in Fayette Circuit Court. The filing said Kentucky laws that prosecutors are relying on to support their argument for the death penalty are vague and unconstitutional.

One of those laws pertains to someone being slain when an emergency protective order or domestic violence order is in effect.

Prosecutors say Nunn killed his former fiancée, Amanda Ross, 29, while a domestic violence order involving the two was in effect, and that constitutes an aggravating circumstance under which the death penalty should be considered.

Nunn, 57, is accused of shooting Ross outside her home on Sept. 11.

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