Kelly Mathis

  Friday on “First Coast Connect” it was our weekly Media Roundtable with Florida Time-Union reporter Andrew Pantazi, WJCT business analyst John Burr and WJCT reporter Ryan Benk. We spoke with Dee Quaranta, president of Northeast Florida Women Veterans and singer-songwriter Kim Paige performed live in our studio.   

On Wednesday’s First Coast Connect we discussed the See the Girl Summit being held Thursday and Friday at the Jessie Ball duPont Center with Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center CEO Lawanda Ravoira and Roy Miller, president of the Tallahassee-based Children’s Campaign.

We were also joined by attorneys Kelly Mathis and Mitch Stone.

Host Melissa Ross also welcomed Steffani Fletcher, the executive director of Hope at Hand about their mission that provides art and poetry therapy to at-risk youth. Then Chris Thomas of the Chris Thomas Band joined the show to talk about his new CD and two shows being held this week. 


Brian Turner / Flickr

TALLAHASSEE — An appeals court Friday ordered a new trial for a prominent Jacksonville attorney who was convicted on racketeering and gambling-related charges after authorities cracked down on internet cafes across the state.

Michael Dunn, Kelly Mathis, and pension reform are in the headlines today.

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — An attorney convicted of leading a $300 million gambling ring that used a veterans charity as a front has been sentenced to 6 years in prison.

Michael Dunn, Jimmy Ryce, and Kelly Mathis are in the headlines today.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

Only about eight months ago, Jacksonville's Five Star Veterans Center didn’t know from one day to the next whether it's doors would remain open.

Today, not only is the facility for homeless military veterans still open, it’s getting a facelift thanks to about 100 local volunteers and big box hardware retailer The Home Depot.

CEO Len Loving was amazed on Thursday as volunteers began renovations.

"They’re all over the place like ants, outside doing the landscaping as well as doing the inside," he said.

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A Florida attorney has been found guilty of running a gambling operation that was disguised as a veterans charity.

Six jurors deliberated for 14 hours before finding attorney Kelly Mathis guilty Friday of possessing slot machines, gambling, conducting a lottery and racketeering. He was found guilty on all but one of 104 counts against him.

Mathis was accused of operating dozens of so-called Internet cafes throughout the state. He is the first of 57 defendants to go on trial in the Allied Veterans case.

Jurors continue to deliberate in the Kelly Mathis trial, memo warns of terrorist "dry runs" on Florida bound flights, and the state's struggling health insurance exchange in headlines this morning.

The six member jury deciding the fate of Jacksonville attorney Kelly Mathis will return to deliberations today. Mathis was the lawyer for Allied Veterans of the World.

He’s accused of helping the charity group set up and run a statewide network of internet cafes that were really illegal gambling sites.

News4Jax’s Kumasi Aaron is in Sanford, covering the trial.  She says both the prosecution and the defense are optimistic about their chances.

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Attorneys are set to give their closing arguments in the case against a Jacksonville attorney accused of helping build up a network of storefront casinos under the guise of a veteran's charity.

Judge Kenneth Lester said Wednesday's arguments will not have any time restrictions. But he also said that could mean he may hold off on giving the jury its final instructions for deliberations until Thursday.

Karen remnants dump rain from Georgia to Jax, closing arguments expected in Mathis trial, and the local effects of the government shutdown are in headlines this morning.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida's statewide prosecutor told a jury that a Jacksonville attorney "gamed" the legal system in creating a network of gambling centers throughout Florida under the guide of a charitable veterans' group. The defense says he was just giving legal advice.

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville lawyer who prosecutors say masterminded a veterans' charity that was actually a $290 million gambling operation is the first of dozens of defendants to go to trial. 

Florida Times-Union

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Some of the 57 Allied Veterans of the World defendants are in court in Sanford to set the schedule for their upcoming trials and to enter pleas.

About a half dozen defendants are in court Friday to find out how they will move ahead with their criminal proceedings.