Steve Nunn

Nunn's lawyer questions his competency

An attorney for former state Rep. Steve Nunn wants his client to undergo a mental evaluation to determine whether he is competent to assist in preparation for his criminal trial.

London attorney Warren Scoville said in the motion filed Monday in Fayette Circuit Court that, due to the conditions of Nunn's incarceration, "his physical and mental health have deteriorated to a point that he is unable at this time to assist in the preparation of his defense."

Nunn, 57, is accused of killing his former fiancée, Amanda Ross. Ross, 29, was shot to death Sept. 11 outside her home in downtown Lexington.

Nunn has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and violating an emergency protective order. He is being held in the Fayette County Detention Center. According to the motion, Scoville has visited Nunn regularly in preparation for future court appearances.

Scoville did not return calls for comment.

Scoville's motion says the evaluation would not be used for the formal determination of whether Nunn lacked mental capacity when Ross was killed. But "that motion may come at a later time, if warranted," the motion states.

The motion requests that Nunn receive the competency evaluation at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange.

Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson said he has filed a response to the motion and is not opposing such an evaluation for Nunn.

"If the court believes that there are any questions, that ought to be resolved, they should do it," he said. "But it's the judge's decision."

Larson said Scoville's motion "is not an unusual kind of a motion" or uncommon in criminal cases.

A hearing on the motion has been scheduled for Friday.

In September, Fayette District Judge Julie Muth Goodman ordered that Nunn be evaluated by Bluegrass Comprehensive Care in the Fayette County jail to determine whether he was criminally responsible when Ross was killed. Nunn was then transferred to the La Grange facility for a 30-day psychiatric evaluation, but Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Clark set aside the district court decision and ordered Nunn to be returned to the Fayette County jail. Larson had filed the motion to stop that evaluation because he said it was premature.

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