Steve Nunn

Steve Nunn apologizes to family of woman he killed

Steve Nunn, seen here at a hearing in Fayette Circuit Court on Aug. 19, 2010.
Steve Nunn, seen here at a hearing in Fayette Circuit Court on Aug. 19, 2010.

A former Kentucky lawmaker serving life in prison apologized publicly for the first time Friday to the family of the woman he shot and killed four years ago.

Nunn is serving a life sentence for the 2009 slaying of his former fiancée, 29-year-old Amanda Ross.

He spoke during a court proceeding Friday in Lexington in which he took possession of his former lawyer's files in the criminal case. Nunn addressed his comments to Ross's mother, Diana Ross, who was not in the courtroom.

"My heart is broken for her," Nunn said.

Ross could not be immediately reached for comment.

Asked if he was surprised by Nunn's apology, Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson said after the hearing: "I'm never surprised by somebody serving a life-without-parole sentence, what they say when they get an opportunity."

Nunn was in court to get access to files compiled by his former criminal defense attorney, Warren Scoville of London. Nunn has been trying to look at the material for months. He has been found liable in civil court for Amanda Ross's death. A damages trial is set for August.

Nunn, 60, spent about 15 years in the state legislature. He is the son of former Kentucky Gov. Louie B. Nunn, who held the office from 1967 to 1971. Nunn does not have an attorney.

"I am very sorry for everyone I let down," said Nunn, who at times grew testy in discussions with Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine.

Larson sat silently through much of the hearing. At one point, the bespectacled Larson and the shackled Nunn stared at each other for a few seconds. Larson scratched his chin while Nunn smiled slightly.

Nunn at times grew agitated as he recounted attempts to get the files and delays in turning them over.

"In some ways I felt like I was back in the legislature where the majority would suspend the rules when they were going to screw somebody," Nunn said. "I thought I missed that announcement that the rules were suspended."

Prosecutors filed a motion in late April asking Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine to reconsider whether to allow Nunn to see candid photographs of the woman he killed.

But Goodwine ordered the files to be released to Nunn for transport back to Green River Correctional Complex in Muhlenberg County, where he is incarcerated.

The photos are thought to be included in six boxes of evidence presented to Nunn on Friday. Scoville gave the boxes to the court in February.

Nunn accused Goodwine and Larson of trying to violate Kentucky's rules of professional conduct in handling the files and hinted a conspiracy between the judge and prosecutor.

"I understand your skepticism, if that's what you want to call it," Goodwine said. "You are entitled to your attorney-client files."

As corrections officers led Nunn from the courtroom, he had one last comment for Larson.

"I just wanted to say, arrivederci," Nunn said.

Larson didn't flinch, muttering about a popular foreign language learning program.

"Rosetta Stone is alive and well," Larson said.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader