Julieta Martinelli | Nashville Public Radio

Julieta Martinelli


Martinelli is the 2017-2018 newsroom fellow at WPLN. She began as an intern in summer 2017, where she reported on criminal justice, immigration and social issues among other topics. Before arriving in Nashville, she split her time between the assignment desk and assisting the investigative team at CBS-46 in Atlanta. 

Martinelli spent five years working at an Atlanta law firm. Previously she worked as a writer and copy editor for Real Atlanta Magazine, a now-defunct bilingual monthly. She's also written for Gwinnett Daily Post and Atlanta Latino, where she reported in Spanish on immigration, education and issues affecting the Hispanic community in Georgia. Martinelli is a National Association of Hispanic Journalists scholarship winner, a NAHJ-NABJ 2016 Student Projects fellow and in 2017 was named a Chips Quinn Scholar by the Newseum Institute.

police video
Davidson County District Attorney's Office

Nashville authorities released new surveillance video footage Wednesday that shows a fatal shooting by a city police officer on July 26.

The lawyer representing the victim's family, after seeing the videos for the first time, told WPLN that they want the officer to be fired. Meanwhile, Nashville's mayor is urging patience as the investigation unfolds.


Just one day before Tennessee is scheduled to resume executions after a nine-year hiatus, lawyers and advocates for Billy Ray Irick continue fighting for more time. They’re down to their last hope: that the highest court in the country will step in. 

TN Photo Services

Governor Bill Haslam granted pardons and a sentence commutation to four Tennesseans on Thursday, offering clemency for only the second time since he took office in 2011.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

It’s been a year since Fausto Flores, a local construction worker, fell to his death while building an upscale condo complex downtown. He was cutting a wooden handrail on the fourth floor when he slipped. Flores wasn’t wearing a harness.

Workers and advocates gathered last night outside that building to remember him — and more than a dozen others — who’ve lost their lives at work.

U.S. Department of Education via Flickr

Nashville’s pre-K education program has been ranked in the top five among the country’s largest cities by CityHealth, a new initiative by the Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.

In its second annual report, the organization graded the cities on nine components. The group included pre-K in their study because it believes access to a high quality early education leads to longterm improvements in public health.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN


Update: This story has been updated to reflect new information from the Office of Metro's Finance Director, which says all Core Civic investments were sold in November 2016. 

Metro Council members on Tuesday will vote on a measure asking the city to stop investing money from its employee pension fund into for-profit prisons.

Councilwoman Erica Gilmore says Nashville has close to $1 million invested in CoreCivic — the nation’s second largest private prison company — which also has its headquarters in Nashville. The city disputes that claim.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN


Scroll down to read or hear this story in Spanish. Desplácese hacia abajo para leer o escuchar esta historia en español.

A Guatemalan mother separated from her 11-year-old daughter while attempting to cross into the United States to seek asylum in May reunited with her Thursday night at the Nashville International Airport. They were separated for more than six weeks.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

“You’re animals."

That was the first thing Albertina Contreras says she heard after she set foot on American soil, shortly before she was shackled and her daughter taken away to a detention facility for kids. They were headed for Murfreesboro, but only Contreras made it.

Now, attorneys are trying to reunite the family, in one of the first family separation cases identified in Tennessee. 

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN



The story of Matthew Charles, a Nashville man sent back to prison after being released for more than two years, has become something of a cause celeb, bringing pleas for his clemency all the way to the Oval Office.

Matthew Charles
Julie Martinelli / WPLN

A campaign seeking the release of a Nashville man from prison is flourishing on social media in the week following WPLN's report on Matthew Charles's case. Charles was released early in 2016, but a higher court later ruled his sentence reduction was a mistake and ordered him back behind bars.