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.

Matthew Charles
Julie Martinelli / WPLN

When a Nashville man named Matthew Charles was released from prison early in 2016 after a sentence reduction, he’d spent almost half his life behind bars. But in a rare move, a federal court ruled his term was reduced in error and ordered him back behind bars to finish his sentence.

Courtesy National Bail Out

Some activists say Nashville’s new pre-trial release program, which aims to increase the number of low-income defendants released without having to pay bail, is not doing enough to keep poor people from waiting behind bars. They’re responding by organizing a “bail out” this weekend, part of a national campaign to get black moms home for Mother’s Day. 

Metro Nashville Police Department

A Nashville judge has ordered that the alleged Waffle House shooter undergo a mental health evaluation before returning to court.

It could be a hint defense lawyers are considering entering a not guilty plea by reason of insanity. But succeeding would take a lot more than proving the defendant is mentally ill.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

Some educators and advocates are concerned that a new bill aimed at curbing illegal immigration could lead to parents pulling their children out of school. The measure, if signed by the Governor, would require law enforcement to comply with federal immigration authorities, which opponents say could virtually turn officers inside schools into immigration agents.

It was that fear which drove hundreds of people to protest in front of the state Capitol last week, in one of the largest immigration demonstrations in recent years.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

Employees this morning removed the yellow police tape that has surrounded a Waffle House in Antioch since early Sunday morning, after a man opened fire with an AR-15, killing four and injuring several others.

Waffle House shooting
Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

In the end, it was a citizen tip that ended Monday’s police manhunt for Travis Reinking.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN


People living in a small, rural Tennessee town are still trying to navigate the fallout of a major federal immigration raid earlier this month.

Bean Station, in northeast Tennessee, is home to about 3,000 people. The big jobs in town are the meatpacking plants and tomato fields.

Julieta M Martinelli / WPLN

Immigration advocates are calling last week’s operation at an East Tennessee meatpacking plant the largest workplace raid since President Trump took office. Ninety-seven workers allegedly without legal status were arrested, and more than half have already been transferred to detention centers out of state.



A group of local activists are launching a petition to resurrect the proposal for a police community oversight board. The goal is to get a referendum on the November ballot so Nashville voters can decide whether police oversight is necessary.

Black Lives Matter Nashville facebook


Nashville has spent 20 years mulling the idea of a civilian review board to investigate complaints against police officers. It’s most recent attempt made it farther than any other, but it collapsed on Tuesday when the Metro Council voted it down 25 to 5. But for advocates, the idea is still very much alive.