MUNFORDVILLE — Former state Rep. Steve Nunn told state police hours after his former fiancée was shot to death that he “was at the end of his rope and wanted revenge” because of a domestic violence dispute with the woman, according to arrest records filed in Hart County.
Nunn also relayed his feelings in a seven-page letter in which he used “derogatory terms” in reference to Amanda Ross, according to an arrest warrant.
The body of Amanda Ross hasn’t even been laid to rest, and as her friends and family just begin to fully process the gruesome violence of the past several days/calculate the incalculable loss of a loved one/withstand intense observation from the media amid a period of intense grieving/etc., her murder already symbolizes many commonplace realities specific to occurrences of domestic violence.
Things to keep in mind: For every three women murdered in this fair, glass-ceilinged nation, one of these women is killed by an “intimate” (i.e. husband, boyfriend). Compare this to only 3 percent of male victims. Also, one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes, less than 20 percent of them will ever report it, and aside from its awful emotional and psychological toll, violence against women siphons from the United States economy over $37 billion a year, and contributes to $5.8 billion in emergency medical services and insurance billings annually.
Although the law says that accused are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and Steve Nunn should be granted that same right, there’s something to be said for possessing a .38 caliber revolver — the kind that matches those .38 slugs found in Ross’ body. There’s also something to be said for a legal defense that has so little to no respect for the deceased (or logic):
Attorney Astrida Lemkins, who said she is a friend of Nunn’s and was co-counsel for Nunn during a court hearing about the domestic violence order, said the issuance of the order “caused all the problems.”
“It caused Steve Nunn to lose his job, reputation and drove him to slit his wrists,” she said.
“If there does turn out to be a relationship between the death of Amanda Ross and Steve Nunn, it is not because the DVO failed, but rather because the DVO was issued,” said Lemkins.
Lemkins said Ross should have also been held accountable for her role in the domestic violence incident.
Spectacular; to insinuate that Ross herself be culpable for her own murder because there’s a murky “gray area” in there somewhere, one in which women are like suicide bombers, ready at the press of a button to invite their husbands to explosive wrath. Truly, spectacularly dumb. I can’t wait to see them try and paint a murdered young women as a whore who always talked during football games and so pushed her husband — the real victim — over the edge. “She just couldn’t use her indoor voice, your honor. And so he did what he felt was his last and only resort: murder-suicide.”
Unfortunately, details of Nunn and Ross’ troubled relationship don’t agree with this narrative of reverse martyrdom. Here’s this, from when Nunn was discharged earlier this year from his post in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services:
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,” according to a report by WHAS-TV in Louisville. Ross said she called police “because this has happened many times before,” but did not file criminal charges, the TV station reported. [H-L]
You’d think that with all of the human and national implications involved, why didn’t Ross press charges? Without getting too Deepak Chopra on your asses, she was probably too afraid. Most women in an abusive relationship routinely explain away and delude themselves to their partner’s true behavior out of fear, powerlessness and low self esteem, which cyclically reinforces inertia and, thus, continued abuse. When you factor in the aforementioned statistics, it becomes clear — save a few missing pieces that will undoubtedly surface during the trial — that, in this case as in many others, it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt, or worse.
Here’s a link to various women’s crisis centers across the state. Or call 1-800-799-SAFE for help and/or more information.