Melissa Nelson

Woman wearing mask holds a sign with 8 minutes 46 seconds on it
Claire Goforth

It was drizzling steadily on June 6 when one of the largest civil rights protests in Jacksonville history began amassing in front of the courthouse. 

Florida Attorney General Reverses Course On Reparations For Wrongfully Convicted Jacksonville Man

Feb 14, 2020
WJCT News

The Florida attorney general’s office reversed course Saturday, announcing it was wrong to deny reparations to a Jacksonville man wrongfully convicted of murder.

The Office of Attorney General had previously a denied a petition to compensate Nathan Myers, who spent 43 years in prison for a murder Jacksonville prosecutors said he didn’t commit.

From left to right: FIU professor Besiki Kutateladze, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Davis, and State Attorney Melissa Nelson.
Brendan Rivers / WJCT News

State Attorney Melissa Nelson, who represents much of the First Coast, said Tuesday a new report on prosecutorial effectiveness and fairness shows that race and ethnicity were not a significant factor in the cases handled by her office.

Sky Lebron / WJCT-News

Jacksonville is opening a firearm forensics center that will help officers generate leads in cases involving violent crime.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams (left) and State Attorney Melissa Nelson (right).
Ryan Benk / WJCT News

People from more than 38 Duval County religious congregations are expected to come together Monday night to push city officials on criminal justice reform at the Sheriff’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office and in public schools.

Abukar Adan / WJCT News

Northeast Florida State Attorney Melissa Nelson on Thursday asked the court to dismiss the 1976 murder sentences of two men after an investigation by her office concluded it no longer has confidence in the evidence of the case. 

Jacksonville City Hall
Steven Martin / Flickr.com

In response to a recent criminal investigation of several Jacksonville City Council members, the Jacksonville Ethics Commission is asking Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody to issue a legal opinion on local ethics commissions’ ability to enforce the state’s Sunshine Laws.

WJCT News

Fewer teens and kids are being arrested in Florida than at any point in the past 43 years, according to state data released Monday by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

In Northeast Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit, the number of juvenile arrests has dropped by 35 percent in the last five years alone.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

Forty-six arrests and the seizure of powder and crack cocaine, heroin, and 30 guns concluded a three-year investigation of a Jacksonville gang, known as the Rolling 20's.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams (left) and State Attorney Melissa Nelson (right).
Ryan Benk / WJCT News

State Attorney Melissa Nelson is rolling out a court diversion program to help people with suspended driver’s licenses get back on the road faster.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

In a show of governmental unity Thursday, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, Sheriff Mike Williams, Fire Chief Kurtis Wilson and State Attorney Melissa Nelson had a wide-ranging discussion on public safety and the city’s newest budget.

Friday on “First Coast Connect” our weekly Media Roundtable featured Tessa Duvall from The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville Business Journal editor Timothy Gibbons and blogger Fred Matthews (01:16).

 

Gabriel House of Care Executive Director Valerie Callahan talked about their upcoming Living Well Symposium (42:05).

We also spoke with author Larry Baker who sets his novels in Northeast Florida (46:24).

WJCT News

State Attorney Melissa Nelson decided not to pursue changes against Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer Tyler Landreville’s fatal shooting last year of Vernell Bing Jr. But that doesn’t mean the story is over.

Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we spoke with Florida Times-Union reporter Ben Conarck on State Attorney Melissa Nelson’s decision not to prosecute Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer Tyler Landreville for the May 2016 shooting death of Vernell Bing Jr. (01:20). We heard about the efforts of World Relief to assist victims of disasters like Hurricane Irma with Senior Vice President of Ministries Emily Gray and Travis Trice of World Relief Jacksonville (33:21) and we spoke with new CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida Sara Alford and Board Chairman Jason Spencer  (43:22).   


  Today on “First Coast Connect,” our weekly Media Roundtable included Florida Politics reporter A.G. Gancarski and WJCT’s Ryan Benk and Kevin Meerschaert (01:11). The Humana Foundation’s Laura Nolan and University of Florida professor and endowed chairwoman in Health Disparities Research Carolyn Tucker (38:20) discussed the foundation’s recent $444,000 donation to four Jacksonville nonprofit organizations. Finally, Rethreaded founder Kristin Keen and Wayne Bailey (46:22) with The River City Chorus talked about the “Sing a New Song”   concert series to benefit Rethreaded.    

Today on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with two members of the group known as the “Hemming Park Five”: Dave Schneider and Willie Hager (01:05). We heard about an upcoming forum at Jacksonville University about patient safety in hospitals with Brooks Rehabilitation program director Roberta Christopher, JU associate professor with the school of nursing Teri Chenot, organizer of the group “Patient Safety America” Dr. John James and Dr. Robert Wears (27:55), professor with the University of Florida Health Jacksonville Department of Emergency Medicine. Mike Skowfoe (39:16) with Fortress Wealth Management provided financial advice for recent college graduates.   


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Progressive activists say they’re keeping the pressure on State Attorney Melissa Nelson to drop charges against downtown protesters after an incident in Hemming Park earlier this month.

Members of the Progressive Coalition are framing Nelson’s handling of the “Jax Five” as the first real test of her career as the area’s top prosecutor.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Students in Jacksonville’s Lee High leadership class met with State Attorney Melissa Nelson Tuesday afternoon.

 

The students have already met with Nelson once before and they’ve been meeting with many city leaders about juvenile justice reform for about two years.

 

  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.   

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is asking the city council to approve emergency funding for new gun identification technology.

The Integrated Ballistic Identification System uses a shell casing’s “fingerprint” to track down a shooter faster than ever. The new tech is expected to cost the city $250,000.


Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

Northeast Florida State Attorney Melissa Nelson announced Tuesday her office is creating a new division to go after human traffickers on the First Coast.

“Because these crimes intersect with almost all different areas of the criminal justice system including drug trafficking, sexual assault and others,” Nelson said. “And because these crimes affect some of the most vulnerable in our community, adding these dedicated resources is a way that we can help those preyed upon to end this vicious cycle.”

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

In her first public appearance as state attorney Monday, Melissa Nelson reiterated her campaign promise of restoring the public’s confidence in Northeast Florida’s criminal justice system.

Nelson admitted the challenge of changing the office’s culture will be an exacting task, but that she had a specific blueprint to accomplish that goal.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

State attorney-elect Melissa Nelson said Monday the office needs to collaborate with the community to ensure laws are enforced in a fair and equitable manner.

State attorney-elect Melissa Nelson ousted incumbent Angela Corey in a landslide last month. On Monday she joined Melissa Ross to talk about the transition and what we can expect from her office when she takes over in January. We also heard from Dr. Nima Aghaebrahim from Baptist Health about recent progress in the treatment of aneurysms. Jon Heymann, CEO of the Jacksonville Children’s Commission, talked about programs available to local youth and the Timucuan Parks Foundation told us about a fundraiser to mark the centennial of the National Parks Service. 


Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

In a monumental legal shakeup for the First Coast, the 4th Judicial Circuit will have a new state attorney and public defender.

University of North Florida

Less than a week out from Florida’s primary elections, a new University of North Florida poll is spelling trouble for two Northeast Florida incumbents.

State Attorney Angela Corey is 30 points behind challenger Melissa Nelson.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

A forum for 4th Circuit State Attorney candidates in Jacksonville kicked off with a familiar tone Wednesday night.

Hopefuls Wes White and Melissa Nelson criticized incumbent Angela Corey on issues like juvenile justice and court diversion programs. And Corey shot back by excoriating the press and defending her long record.

Jacksonville Bar Association

The candidates vying to unseat State Attorney Angela Corey will share a stage with her this evening at the second candidate forum in as many days.  

Last night’s forum focused on the relationship between police, prosecutors and Jacksonville’s black community.


Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

A new poll of likely voters shows competitive races in two Northeast Florida contests, those for state attorney and public defender.

Incumbents Angela Corey and Matt Shirk are struggling against challengers.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

 

Jacksonville civil rights leaders are demanding a write-in state attorney candidate withdraw from the race. Jacksonville Attorney Kenny Leigh filed to run, closing the primary to only Republican voters.