Politics & Government

Kentucky ex-lawmaker pleads not guilty to murder charges

Former lawmaker Steve Nunn pleaded not guilty Thursday in Fayette Circuit Court to charges stemming from the shooting death of Amanda Ross, his ex-fiancee.

Nunn, 57, remained at the Fayette County Detention Center during the arraignment but appeared before Judge Kim Bunnell via video Nunn's indictment on charges of murder and violating an emergency rotective order came nearly two months after his arrest in Ross's death. Ross, 29, was shot and killed Sept. 11 outside her downtown Lexington townhome.

On Thursday, Nunn's attorney Warren Scoville entered a not guilty plea on Nunn's behalf.

Bunnell assigned Nunn's case to Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine. A status hearing was scheduled Jan. 15.

Several of Ross's family members, friends and domestic violence advocates attended Nunn's arraignment, including House Speaker Greg Stumbo's wife, Mary Karen Stumbo. They were wearing badges with photos of Ross that said "Remember."

Ross's mother declined to comment after the hearing. Her aunt, Sandra Pelfrey, said "(Nunn) doesn't deserve to be free ever."

Scoville declined comment.

Because of the indictment for allegedly violating a protective order that Ross had received against Nunn in March, Nunn could be facing the death penalty. The violation is considered an "aggravating circumstance," which allows Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson to seek the death penalty if he chooses. Larson has declined to say whether he has made a decision. He told reporters Thursday to watch the court file.

"We'll be filing appropriate motions at some point," he said.

Larson said that discovery for Nunn's case will be "voluminous."

He said Scoville has not said whether he would seek a change of venue.

Read more at Kentucky.com

Related stories from McClatchy DC