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Friday, February 5, 2010

[KY] Trying to bring good out of the murder of Amanda Ross by ex-State Representative Steve Nunn

...She was not a timid person... She was not a person you could walk all over. She did everything she could to protect herself"...

Hopefully there will be a wrongful death lawsuit... in behalf of those like Amanda who are still living.

GPS TECHNOLOGY COULD HELP SAVE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS
tristatehomepage.com
Friday, Feb 5, 2010 @07:05pm CST
Domestic abuse victims in Kentucky could have a new tool to protect them from their attackers. Lawmakers are considering requiring certain domestic abuse offenders to wear GPS units, warning police if the suspect gets too close to the victim . The law was inspired by the murder of Amanda Ross, whose alleged killer, former state lawmaker Steve Nunn, had a protective order filed against him when Ross was murdered. [LINK]

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL PROMPTS QUESTIONS
Louisville Courier-Journal
Deborah Yetter, Stephenie Steitzer
February 4, 2010
[Excerpts] A bill meant to protect victims of domestic violence by requiring some people accused of abuse to wear a monitoring device encountered a host of questions in a Senate committee Thursday after sailing through the House. Eight judges from around Kentucky expressed concerns about various aspects of House Bill 1 — also called “Amanda’s Bill” for Amanda Ross, a Lexington woman slain last year [by former Representative Steve Nunn] — at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee... All of the judges who spoke Thursday said they support better domestic violence protection but questioned provisions of HB 1, including the cost, the technology and whether it is constitutional to require someone who hasn’t been charged with a crime to wear a monitor... The bill also allows counties to seek bids from private companies to provide the Global Positioning System equipment, with the offenders who wear the devices paying the costs. But Clay Family Court Judge Gene Clark said most people from his Eastern Kentucky region accused of domestic violence are impoverished and would have no way to pay the daily fee. And Clark said that in many parts of Eastern Kentucky, cell phones and GPS devices don’t work. Clark said he would be reluctant to order a GPS device that might not protect the victim. “The worst thing we could do is give them an illusion of security,’’ he said... [Full article here]

MOTHER ENDORSES AMANDA'S BILL ON TV
Diana Ross Says Law Would Save Others
By Ashlee Clark - aclark@herald-leader.com
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010
[Excerpts] ...[Diana] Ross had been quiet in the four months since her daughter, Amanda Ross, was gunned down outside her downtown Lexington townhome... But Diana Ross decided to come forward as a bill named in honor of her daughter works its way through the state legislature. House Bill 1, known as Amanda's Bill, would allow judges to electronically track the whereabouts of people accused of domestic violence. The House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Amanda's Bill on Thursday. The full House is expected to vote Tuesday. Amanda Ross had sought and received a domestic-violence protective order against former Rep. Steve Nunn, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate who has been charged with murder. He has pleaded not guilty. Diana Ross said her daughter would be alive if HB1 were in place Sept. 11, the day Amanda Ross was shot to death. "She wouldn't have walked out that door," Ross said. Amanda's Bill already has brought more attention to domestic violence, Diana Ross said. She has received letters and cards from victims who support the measure and offer their condolences... Amanda's Bill is among the many measures friends and family members have taken to help keep the memory of Amanda Ross alive, her mother said. The Sayre School, which Amanda Ross had attended, wants to start a domestic violence awareness program, Ross said. A group of Amanda Ross's friends plans to build a Habitat for Humanity house in her name. And loved ones raised $4,000 over the holidays for the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program... If Amanda's Bill is made law, "Amanda didn't die in vain," Ross said. "At least one good thing will come out of something terrible. "I'd hate to think that we went through all this hard work and it didn't pass, and then next month some woman was murdered. If it just saves one woman's life in 2010, then that will be worth it"... [Full article here]


Articles from last year:

...After months of trying to use the legal system to protect herself from her former fiancé [Steve Nunn], 29-year-old Amanda Ross was found shot to death early Friday outside her home in downtown Lexington... In the days after their altercation, Ross stated in court that Nunn had contacted a friend of hers in an attempt to get her to drop an emergency protective order against him "so he would not lose his job"... In July, Ross reiterated her fear of Nunn, asking a judge to hold Nunn in contempt of the domestic violence order of protection [NOT GRANTED] ... Ross wrote on her Facebook page that “Steve and I just didn’t work out. I did what I thought I needed to do. It’s all done with now, so I just need to focus on moving forward and finding happiness!”... Al Smith: “Amanda Ross might still be alive if the assessment for addiction problems had led to a successful intervention for treatment of alcoholism... More than a few of us knew Steve was troubled. But neither we, nor he, apparently, did enough to address it”... Dale Emmons: "She was not a timid person... She was not a person you could walk all over. She did everything she could to protect herself"... “We are horrified by these tragic events,” Jennie Nunn Penn, Steve Nunn’s sister, told The State Journal. “Words cannot describe our family’s sadness. Our deepest sympathies go out to Amanda’s family”...

STEVE NUNN PLACED ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE AFTER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COMPLAINT
Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009
[Excerpts] Former state lawmaker and gubernatorial candidate Steve Nunn has been placed on unpaid administrative leave from his state job after a Lexington woman accused him of domestic violence. Nunn is deputy secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which oversees the state's domestic violence programs... A day earlier, Amanda Ross filed a domestic violence petition that claimed Nunn "hit me four times in my face, broke a lamp, scratched the hallway wall (and was) verbally abusive"... Ross said she called police "because this has happened many times before"... Nunn, the son of former Gov. Louie B. Nunn, also serves as the cabinet's acting commissioner of the Department for Mental Health, Development Disabilities and Addiction Services. [Full article here]

NUNN - RESIGNS CABINET POSITION
Judge issues restraining order
Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
Steve Lannen
March 5, 2009
[Excerpts] Former gubernatorial candidate Steve Nunn Wednesday resigned his position as deputy secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, according to Gov. Steve Beshear's office... Earlier in the day, a Fayette County judge ordered Nunn to have no contact with his former fiancée for one year because of a domestic violence incident last month... The former Republican state lawmaker and gubernatorial candidate will be arraigned next week on charges of criminal mischief and fourth-degree assault, his attorney said... Nunn and Amanda Ross began dating in September 2007 and he moved into her home near downtown Lexington in March 2008. He moved out in October, shortly after they were engaged, because the "relationship had deteriorated," Nunn said... Ross alleged that Nunn struck her four times in the face and threw her against a hallway lamp, breaking it. She said he then threw a cup of bourbon in her face... Nunn disputed Ross' assertion that he threw her into the lamp. Rather, he said, Ross threw him into a lamp and then made him vacuum up the mess... The judge said he wasn't sure it mattered who did what, but said there was evidence that Nunn had struck Ross, and it was enough to enter the domestic violence order..." [Full article here]

FORMER CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR TO FACE ARRAIGNMENT
Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
Steve Lannen
March 10, 2009
[Excerpts] A former gubernatorial candidate and state employee will be arraigned Wednesday on charges related to a domestic-violence incident last month... [Steve] Nunn, whose former office oversees the state's domestic violence programs, resigned March 4... In the days after their altercation, Ross stated in court that Nunn had contacted a friend of hers in an attempt to get her to drop an emergency protective order against him "so he would not lose his job." The judge ordered the Republican former legislator to have no contact with his former fiancée for one year... [Full article here]

COURT DOCUMENTS DETAIL VIOLENT END TO RELATIONSHIP
In the months leading up to her death, court documents indicate a history of abuse between 29 year old Amanda Ross and 56 year old Stephen Nunn.
WKYT
Dave Spencer
Sep 11, 2009
[Excerpts] 29 Year old Amanda Ross filed a protective order back in February. But says she was abused by her former finance Stephen Nunn many times before that... Ross told police they were arguing when he took it to the next level hitting Ross four times in the face leaving red marks and bruising... The 56 year old would never be arrested, however just ordered to appear in court. When he did appear, Nunn admitted to hitting the 29 year old Ross, causing multiple injuries... With the criminal charges still looming on the horizon the body of Ross was found outside her apartment, the same apartment where the allegations of abuse were first reported. Nunn was scheduled to appear in court this November to answer to charges outlined in the protective order. [Full article here]


STEVE NUNN, FORMER GOP LAWMAKER, FOUND INJURED HOURS AFTER EX-FIANCEE'S DEATH
AP/Huffington Post
09-11-09
[Excerpts] State police charged a former GOP lawmaker on Friday with violating a protective order after his former girlfriend was found shot to death in downtown Lexington. Steve Nunn, who was being treated at The Medical Center of Bowling Green for undisclosed injuries, has not been charged with the slaying... Nunn was found Friday morning in a Barren County cemetery, about 130 miles southwest of the scene of the shooting, and transported to the Bowling Green hospital to be treated for what he described as self-inflicted injuries... Amanda Ross was fatally shot in Lexington at 6:36 a.m. Friday. The cause of death was listed as a gunshot wound and the death was being investigated as a homicide. [Full article here]

ROSS'S FRIENDS MOURN LOSS OF BRIGHT, CHEERFUL WOMAN
Kentucky.com
Cheryl Truman
Valarie Honeycutt Spears
Sep 11, 2009
[Excerpts] Amanda Ceaberry Lee Ross was a warm and vivacious woman — someone who liked animals, soccer, Ernest Hemingway, and keeping up with friends from her 1998 graduating class at Sayre School, friends say. Ross was born Oct. 10, 1979, in Fleming County and moved with her family to Lexington in the mid 1980s when her late father, Terrell Ross, founded the investment banking firm of Ross, Sinclaire & Associates. State Rep. Bob Damron, a Nicholasville Democrat who works at the firm Ross's father founded, said Ross "had a good mathematical mind and a good business mind"... After Ross graduated from Boston University in 2002 with a degree in business administration and finance, she went to work for her father's company... Ross worked for the Kentucky Department of Insurance as director of financial standards and examination. She was appointed to that job in February 2008... Ross was excited that she recently was elected to the board of the Lexington Humane Society... Jim Deckard, the attorney who represented Ross in the domestic violence case in Fayette County, called Ross "a sweet and beautiful person, full of life and amazing promise." Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear issued a statement Friday calling Ross's death "an indescribable tragedy"... [Full article here]

CLOSE RELATIONSHIP DISSOLVED AFTER VIOLENT INCIDENT
courier-journal
By Stephenie Steitzer
September 11, 2009
[Excerpts] Amanda Ross and Steve Nunn liked to be seen together around Lexington, going to Keeneland and Legends baseball games, friends say... The couple became engaged Oct. 10, after dating less than a year... But according to Ross’ Facebook page, the engagement was short lived. On Nov. 18, Ross noted on her page that she was no longer in a relationship and commented that “we are working through things.”  [Ross’ close friend Dale] Emmons said Ross told him that Nunn had pushed and slapped her on one or two occasions before a Feb. 17, 2009 domestic-violence incident, during which Nunn was charged with a misdemeanor domestic violence assault against Ross... Three days after the February incident, Ross wrote on her Facebook page that “Steve and I just didn’t work out. I did what I thought I needed to do. It’s all done with now, so I just need to focus on moving forward and finding happiness!” In March, a Fayette County judge ordered Nunn to have no contact for a year with Ross because of the incident. “There’s no question Amanda was afraid of Steve Nunn,” Emmons said. “She told me that; she told other people that”... “This is such a terrible and senseless tragedy,” [Ross’ attorney, Jim Deckard] said. “Amanda was a sweet and beautiful person, full of life and amazing promise. The impact of this loss to her family and friends is enormous”... [Full article here]

...[Barren County Sheriff Chris] Eaton said Nunn initially told the sheriff that he had shot himself, but "he does not have a gunshot wound whatsoever"...

NUNN SLITS WRISTS AFTER EX-FIANCÉE SLAIN
Son of former governor found at parents' graves
Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)-
Ashlee Clark Aclark@Herald-leader.com,
Bill Estep bestep@herald-leader.com,
and Amy Wilson
September 12, 2009
[Excerpts] After months of trying to use the legal system to protect herself from her former fiancé, 29-year-old Amanda Ross was found shot to death early Friday outside her home in downtown Lexington. Hours later, the man she feared, former state representative and one-time gubernatorial candidate Steve Nunn, was taken into police custody at the edge of the Hart County cemetery where his parents are buried. Nunn had slit his wrists after placing mementos on his parents' graves, officers said. Nunn was charged with six counts of wanton endangerment of a police officer after police say he fired a .38-caliber handgun when officers began arriving at the cemetery... There were no witnesses to the early-morning shooting, though neighbors in Ross's gated townhome complex said they heard five shots fired and heard Ross scream... After finding Ross, police had issued an alert to other police agencies for Nunn, who is the son of the late Gov. Louie B. Nunn and was a candidate for governor in 2003... Troopers decided to try the cemetery by Cosby United Methodist Church near the Barren County-Hart County line, where Nunn's parents are buried. About 10 a.m. Central time, near the late first lady's grave, Hodges said the two troopers saw a holster. They spread out, soon spying Nunn 30 or 40 yards away, down a slight incline, at the edge of the cemetery. Nunn had a handgun, which they asked him to put down. At some point, Hodges said, Nunn fired the weapon, though not at them. He immediately threw down his weapon... [Barren County Sheriff Chris] Eaton said Nunn initially told the sheriff that he had shot himself, but "he does not have a gunshot wound whatsoever," said Eaton... Family and friends say Ross feared for her safety after an incident of domestic violence. Late Friday night, her family released a statement: "Words cannot express the sorrow and emptiness that we all feel. We hope that this travesty will demonstrate that domestic violence can happen to anyone at anytime. And, as a family, we plan to fight for those victims, like Amanda, that cannot fight for themselves"... Ross noted in her Feb. 18 domestic violence complaint: "I called police because this has happened many times before." The assault and criminal mischief charges originally filed in February had deeply embarrassed Nunn, effectively ending his political career and forced him to resign his job as Gov. Steve Beshear's deputy secretary for Health and Family Services. That job included oversight duties for domestic violence programs. In July, Ross reiterated her fear of Nunn, asking a judge to hold Nunn in contempt of the domestic violence order of protection. According to court documents, Ross alleged that Nunn had violated the restraining order by publishing "tampered photographs" of her. Attorneys for Nunn and Ross came to an agreement Aug. 3 that required Nunn to return all of his pictures of Ross and to "take affirmative steps to secure the destruction of any photographs outside of his possession but provided by him to a third party," according to court documents. Many who know Nunn say that his personal problems began to spiral out of control after he resigned his state post in March. Nunn entered an Alford plea - he admitted no guilt, but acknowledged there is enough evidence to produce a guilty verdict - on Aug. 3 in Fayette County to a misdemeanor domestic violence assault charge. "We were all concerned with the incident that cost him his job at the cabinet," said Sheila Schuster, an advocate for the mentally disabled and mentally ill - issues Nunn worked on as a legislator in Frankfort. "We all hoped at that time that he was getting the help that he needed." Nunn was scheduled to return to court on this matter in November. Emmons, a confidante to Ross, said the young professional woman didn't scare easily, but she was afraid of Nunn. "She was not a timid person," he said. "She was not a person you could walk all over. She did everything she could to protect herself" Herald-Leader reporters Ryan Alessi, Jack Brammer, Beverly Fortune, Jennifer Hewlett, Linda Johnson, Beth Musgrave, Valarie Honeycutt Spears and Cheryl Truman contributed to this report... [Full article here]

FRIENDS WERE CONCERNED ABOUT NUNN
Louisville Courier-Journal
Tom Loftus, Joseph Gerth
September 12, 2009
[Excerpts] Several friends of former Kentucky lawmaker and gubernatorial candidate Steve Nunn say they grew increasingly concerned about his well-being since he lost his job in the Beshear administration last March for domestic assault against his former fiancée. Jimmy Bewley, a golf pro at Barren River State Park who said he's been friends with Nunn for 45 years, said those concerns prompted him and another friend to meet Nunn for dinner Thursday evening in Glasgow, saying he had heard that Nunn was under stress and that “things weren't right ... We went to dinner with him to make sure he was OK,” said Bewley, who was joined by Dr. Phillip Bale, a family practice physician in Glasgow who also is friends with Nunn. Bewley wouldn't detail his concerns about Nunn. But he said Nunn, the 56-year-old son of former Gov. Louie B. Nunn, “seemed fine” during the meal... By Friday morning, Nunn was being sought by police in connection with the 6:30 a.m. shooting death of 29-year-old Amanda Ross outside her Lexington townhome... His only sister, Jennie Lou Penn, of Frankfort, said: “We're all horrified over these tragic events and our hearts and prayers go out to the Ross family. And that's all I can say right now.” Ross was a graduate of Lexington's Sayre School who went on to earn a bachelor's degree at Boston University. She worked for seven years as a financial analyst at the Kentucky investment banking firm founded by her father, the late Terrell Ross. In February 2008 she was hired in a non-merit job as division director within the Beshear administration's Department of Insurance... [Full article here]

NUNN HAD A DRINKING PROBLEM
State-Journal.com
Kevin Wheatley
September 12, 2009
[Excerpts] Steve Nunn, while revered for programs for the mentally ill, the poor and disabled and domestic violence, has his own demons with alcohol abuse, according to people close to the former state representative and one-time gubernatorial candidate. Al Smith, former host of KET’s “Comment on Kentucky” and Nunn's friend, said Nunn was ordered to seek an alcohol-addiction assessment as part of a Fayette County court judgment Aug. 3... One high-ranking official who worked with Nunn when he was a deputy cabinet secretary told The State Journal, “I tried to help Steve get his drinking under control... More than a few of us knew Steve was troubled. But neither we, nor he, apparently, did enough to address it.” Smith added, “Amanda Ross might still be alive if the assessment for addiction problems had led to a successful intervention for treatment of alcoholism - and Steve Nunn and his family might have been spared the grim days ahead” and serious legal troubles... Friends and colleagues say Nunn is “sweet” and “compassionate” although he’s in police custody and his former fiancée was found shot to death. “He was a wonderful fellow,” said Franklin County Republican Party Chairman Stuart Victor... Former first lady Judi Patton offered similar sentiments about Nunn. “My heart is broken for my dear friend... Steve was the one representative who stood up with me consistently when we worked so hard on legislation for the protection of women and children. That’s what makes today’s event so devastating to me”... Ross was the director of financial standards for the Department of Insurance... After the judge’s order, Nunn resigned as deputy secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services... [Full article here] [Full article here]

EX-WIFE: NUNN WAS DEEPLY DEPRESSED OVER CAREER, PERSONAL TROUBLES
kentucky.com
By Valarie Honeycutt Spears
Tuesday, Sep. 15, 2009
[Excerpts] Former state Rep. Steve Nunn realized in recent weeks that a domestic violence charge filed by ex-fiancée Amanda Ross had permanently damaged his career, ex-wife Tracey Damron said Monday. Nunn took to his bed for two days last month after he entered an Alford plea — he admitted no guilt but acknowledged there was enough evidence to produce a guilty verdict — in the domestic violence case, said Damron, who has remained close with her former husband and has spoken to him several times in recent days. "He wanted his day in court," she said. "He felt like he had sold out." Nunn's outlook grew worse after an alleged visit last week to Gov. Steve Beshear's office. Nunn, who was forced to resign his job as Beshear's deputy secretary for Health and Family Services after the domestic violence allegations became public in March, told Damron that his friends in Beshear's administration treated him "like he had the plague."... Jay Blanton, a spokesman for Beshear, said Nunn and the governor did not meet last week. Blanton also said he was not aware that Nunn asked anyone for a meeting with Beshear... She called Ross a "beautiful, wonderful girl"... Damron said she asked Nunn after he had been taken into custody by police why he didn't tell someone of his increasing despair. "I couldn't," she said he replied... [Full article here]
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