The Chatter: Supreme Court won't review Nunn conviction, concealed-carry bill in doubt, Louisville overdose calls surge in 32-hour period

02/11/2017 02:30 PM

Steve Nunn, a former state representative and son of the late Gov. Louie Nunn, will not have his life sentence for the murder of his former fiancée reviewed by the Kentucky Supreme Court, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported Friday.

Nunn, 64, pleaded guilty to gunning down Amanda Ross outside her Lexington townhome in 2009, but he’s attempted to have his life-without-parole conviction overturned, arguing his attorney gave him bad legal representation.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld the conviction, and the Supreme Court ended Nunn’s appeal in a one-sentence order Thursday.

From the Herald-Leader:

One of Nunn’s arguments was that Scoville failed to advise him that if he pleaded guilty, that didn’t mean a civil lawsuit seeking damages for Ross’s death would be dismissed.

However, Scoville, who has since died, testified that Nunn understood that dismissing the civil lawsuit wasn’t a condition of his guilty plea, according to the Court of Appeals.

A judge ultimately found Nunn liable for $24 million in the civil suit.

Nunn had testified that he pleaded guilty to spare his daughters and Ross’s family the ordeal of a trial, but he wouldn’t have admitted guilt without a trial if he had known that the civil lawsuit would not be dropped, according to court records.

The Court of Appeals was not persuaded, saying the judges didn’t think Nunn suffered a worse outcome by pleading guilty.

Concealed carry bill in doubt

The Herald-Leader also reports that the fate of Senate Bill 7, legislation that would allow anyone eligible to own a gun to carry it concealed without a permit, appears to be in doubt after the National Rifle Association asked its supporters to contact lawmakers about the legislation.

The NRA issued an alert to its supporters on SB 7 because it “has been pulled from consideration in the Kentucky Senate,” the newspaper reported.

Lars Dalseide, a spokesman for the NRA, said he wasn’t sure how SB 7 would fare in the remaining days of the 30-day session but the group’s Kentucky representative “tells us they are going to try to rally the troops to get something,” according to the report.

Sen. Albert Robinson, a London Republican who’s sponsoring SB 7, said he’s working on an amendment to the legislation to present to the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee as a possible fix. The Herald-Leader reports the amended version would allow anyone eligible for a concealed-carry permit to carry a concealed firearm unpermitted.

Another version of the bill may be introduced in the House.

Louisville sees spike in overdoses

Louisville’s Metro Emergency Services handled 52 overdose calls in a 32-hour period between Thursday and Friday, more than doubling the average daily overdose calls the agency receives, The Courier-Journal reports.

Thirty-four of those calls resulted in hospital visits, and most of the overdose calls involved heroin, according to the newspaper.

From the report:

At Norton Audubon Hospital, doctors saw several overdoses during the 32-hour spike and used the anti-heroin antidote naloxone to resuscitate their patients, said Dr. Robert Couch, medical director for Emergency Services. Couch said that some patients, once revived, experienced complications that required hospitalization.

“What generally is going on when you see this is someone has introduced a batch of fentanyl in the illicit drug supply that hasn’t been cut sufficiently,” said Van Ingram, Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. “I’m afraid it’s a reality we’re going to see repeated far too often.”

Heroin laced with more potent synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, is undetectable to the drug user, said Dr. Ashley Webb, director of the Kentucky Poison Control Center.

“You’re taking that chance every time…” she said, adding that “even if naloxone does revive an overdose victim, brain and other organ damage can occur if the victim goes without oxygen for too long.”

Ingram said he hadn’t heard of any similar spikes in other Kentucky counties this week, but at least two smaller spikes have occurred before. Most often, he said, it’s because of the addition of fentanyl to batches of heroin or other drugs.

Fentanyl-related deaths in Jefferson County spiked to 139 from 26 between 2015 and 2016.

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