Witnesses take stand in Kimberly Kessler trial, including mom of Joleen Cummings
Prosecutors showed a timeline Monday in the Nassau County Courthouse, highlighting Kimberly Kessler’s purchases and internet searches, as well as surveillance video, in the days surrounding 34-year-old mother of three Joleen Cummings’ disappearance in 2018.
Motion requests Kimberly Kessler’s trial not be delayed should she be absent during hearing
A day after jury selection began in Kimberly Kessler’s trial, and following another outburst that had her promptly removed from the courtroom, a motion was filed by the state of Florida requesting a jury instruction.
Kessler’s attorneys suggest new theory surrounding Cummings’ disappearance
A new motion by lawyers for Kimberly Kessler, who is accused of killing her co-worker Joleen Cummings, suggests Cummings could have become “physically violent” with Kessler in an ongoing dispute over drugs in the Tangles Hair Salon in Nassau County where both women worked.
Kessler’s attorneys file change of venue motion claiming ‘pervasive pretrial publicity’
Defense attorneys for Kimberly Kessler, the woman who’s charged with killing Joleen Cummings -- her coworker at a Nassau County hair salon -- have filed a change of venue motion ahead of her trial, which is slated to begin jury selection on Dec. 6.
Judge admits key evidence, including purchase of electric knife, in Kimberly Kessler trial
The judge in the murder trial of Kimberly Kessler, who is accused of killing her co-worker Joleen Cummings, has denied a defense motion to suppress evidence the state says is crucial to understanding how Cummings died.
Kimberly Kessler disrupts another court hearing as judge aims to proceed with December trial
The judge presiding over the Nassau County murder case against Kimberly Kessler, who is accused of killing her co-worker Joleen Cummings, is determined to proceed with a December trial, even as the defense files more motions challenging aspects of the state’s case.
Defense asks judge to submit questionnaire to potential jurors in Kimberly Kessler trial
Defense lawyers have filed another flurry of motions in Nassau County court in the trial of Kimberly Kessler, the woman charged with first-degree murder in the May 2018 disappearance of her salon coworker, Joleen Cummings, whose body has never been located.
Judge sets August trial date for Kimberly Kessler in 2018 murder of Joleen Cummings
Nassau County Judge James Daniel on Thursday set Aug. 16 for Kimberly Kessler’s trial in the 2018 murder of Joleen Cummings. The judge set an all-day motion hearing for March 19, and the judge prefers that to be virtual. Kessler is charged with killing Cummings, her coworker at a Yulee hair salon. AdKessler, who has been going on episodes of starvation and binge eating, was just 74 pounds when she appeared before the judge in October. The judge found Kessler’s behavior was not driven by mental illness but a personality disorder.
Kimberly Kessler’s lawyers want more evidence thrown out
NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Lawyers for Kimberly Kessler have filed another motion to have physical evidence in her Nassau County murder case thrown out. Kessler is charged in the death of her co-worker Joleen Cummings in 2018, who she worked with at Tangles Hair Salon. A search warrant allowed investigators to seize as evidence the clothes Kessler was wearing, fingernail scrapings and to do a gunshot residue test on her hands. It wasn’t clear at the time, but Nassau County investigators say they had already found blood evidence inside the Tangles Salon where it’s believed Cummings was killed. While the warrant sought a gunshot residue test on Kessler’s hands, there’s never been any suggestion in court documents that Cummings was shot to death.
Defense seeking to have evidence in Kimberly Kessler case thrown out
YULEE, Fla. – Four motions were filed Wednesday to suppress evidence in the case of Kimberly Kessler, the woman charged with killing her coworker at a hair salon in Yulee. Kessler’s attorneys claim that Kessler was located through unlawful use of cellphone site technology, and that any evidence gathered as a result of the detention in St. Johns County should be suppressed. Her attorneys say that statements Kessler made to St. Johns County deputies should be suppressed because she was questioned before she was read her Miranda rights. They say statements she made at the St. Johns County Jail should also be suppressed, saying they were the fruit of an unlawful arrest. An emergency order from the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office in September requested guidance from a judge, saying Kessler was refusing to eat and wouldn’t accept any medical treatment.
Kimberly Kessler could go on trial next May
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The woman accused of killing her co-worker at a Yulee hair salon, Kimberly Kessler, appeared by video Thursday before the same judge who ruled Monday that she is competent to stand trial. At Thursday’s hearing, Kessler asked for a new lawyer, claiming one of her court-appointed lawyers is related to the victim, Joleen Cummings -- a charge her lead lawyer said wasn’t true. Circuit Judge James Daniel denied the request and tentatively set her first-degree murder trial for May 2021. At that point, Kessler started yelling and was removed from the viewing room in the jail. Defense lawyer Teresa Sopp said she is preparing motions to suppress some of the evidence against Kessler and to request a change of venue.
Court says Kimberly Kessler still competent for trial
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After conducting an evidentiary hearing and reviewing expert reports, a court has determined that Kimberly Kessler, a woman who’s charged with killing her coworker at a Nassau County hair salon, remains competent to stand trial. The decision comes as Kessler remains behind bars in the Nassau County Jail. During the hearing, Kessler was removed from view after she yelled an expletive about the public defender’s office. On the Zoom hearing, Kessler could still be heard yelling and cursing in the background. A deputy came back and told the court that Kessler did not want to be represented by the public defender.
Judge dismisses Kimberly Kessler emergency petition
On Tuesday, News4Jax learned that the trial judge dismissed the petition. The Sheriff’s Office said in the petition to the trial judge that Kessler is trying to kill herself by starvation. The Sheriff’s Office told the judge that jail medical staff didn’t have the resources to force feed Kessler. Because the judge in March found Kessler competent to stand trial, the Sheriff’s Office was asking for a precedent-setting ruling from the judge. The State Attorney’s Office responded, saying that since Kessler was declared competent, the petition should be denied.
74 lb. Kimberly Kessler yells, curses during competency hearing
On the Zoom hearing, Kessler could still be heard yelling and cursing in the background. A deputy came back and told the court that Kessler did not want to be represented by the public defender. Daniel said he would not grant Kessler a hearing for a change of lawyer. After the hearing, Anne Johnson, Joleen Cummings' mother, issued the following statement:“Justice delayed is justice denied. Kessler is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Joleen Cummings, a 34-year-old mother of three.
Petition: 89-pound Kimberly Kessler could starve self to death
NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Kimberly Kessler, the woman charged with murdering her coworker that was a stylist at a Nassau County hair salon, is refusing to eat and won’t accept any medical treatment, according to an emergency petition obtained Wednesday by News4Jax. The petition, filed by Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper, says Kessler is trying to kill herself by starvation. Because a judge in March found Kessler competent to stand trial, the Sheriff’s Office is asking for a precedent-setting ruling from the judge. Kessler is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Joleen Cummings, a 34-year-old mother of three. Kessler was arrested May 16 after investigators said they found footage showing her getting out of the vehicle.
Judge orders Kimberly Kessler to have mental competency review
NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – A judge has once again ordered a mental competency review of Kimberly Kessler, the woman charged with first-degree murder in the death of her coworker at a Nassau County hair salon. The order was made after an attorney filed an emergency motion Wednesday, which stated that Kessler, who has been in the Nassau County Jail, had refused to eat for 56 days. The motion also stated that Kessler apparently refused to take medication that she was prescribed. Blair told News4Jax that she didn’t recognize Kessler, but noticed she was eating. Kessler refused to eat after she was first arrested in 2018 and transferred to the Duval County jail.
Document: After 56 day hunger strike, Kimberly Kessler in danger of losing her life
Kimberly Kessler is charged with first-degree murder in the the death of Joleen Cummings, a 34-year-old mother of three, at Tangles Hair Salon. Joleen CummingsThe court document dated Wednesday, filed by counsel representing Kessler, is an emergency renewed suggestion of mental incompetence to proceed. The document states that Kessler, who has been in the Nassau County Jail, has refused to eat for 56 days, and that she had apparently been Baker Acted. The document states states that Kessler was apparently prescribed medication during her hospitalization, but that when she returned to jail, she refused to take the medication. Kessler was arrested May 16 after investigators said they found footage showing her getting out of the vehicle.
Kimberly Kessler calls attorney 'piece of garbage,' wants her off case
Kimberly Kessler was supposed to be in court for a competency hearing but instead informed Judge James Daniel that she wants different representation. When Daniel asked her why, Kessler said she'd told the staff at Florida State Hospital why but refused to explain further. Kessler "garbage" comment couldn't be heard by cameras in court, but Public Defender Teresa Sopp told Daniel, "When we first stepped up to the podium, she told me I'm a piece of garbage." For now, Daniel made no ruling on Kessler's competence, and she remains committed to Florida State Hospital. Kessler, who is charged with murdering Joleen Cummings, was initially ruled not competent to stand trial July 2.
Kimberly Kessler calls attorney 'piece of garbage,' wants her...
Kimberly Kessler was supposed to be in court for a competency hearing but instead informed Judge James Daniel that she wants different representation. When Daniel asked her why, Kessler said she'd told the staff at Florida State Hospital why but refused to explain further. For now, Daniel made no ruling on Kessler's competence, and she remains committed to Florida State Hospital. Last month, staff at the hospital found Kessler "is competent to proceed and no longer meets criteria for continued involuntary commitment." Florida State Hospital was the facility tasked with "restoring" Kessler's competency.
Hospital says Kimberly Kessler is competent to stand trial
Kimberly Kessler, who is charged with murdering Joleen Cummings, was ruled not competent to stand trial July 2 after a state-appointed psychologist agreed with the opinion previously given by a psychiatrist for Kessler's defense. Florida State Hospital was the facility tasked with "restoring" Kessler's competency. "It's a little surprising as quickly hospital staff came back based upon whatever medication she is now on is competent to stand trial," said Gene Nichols, an attorney who is not affiliated with the case. It will be up to a judge to decide if Kessler's trial can move forward. We are in a storm and the storm isn't over with," Johnson told News4Jax on July 2 after Kessler was deemed incompetent to stand trial and was ordered to be sent to Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee.
Deputies: Human skull, bones found in wooded area of Nassau County
NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. - An apparent human skull and bones were discovered last week in a wooded area between Callahan and Hilliard, according to a Nassau County Sheriff's Office report. His case is one the 10 open missing persons cases in the county. According to the Sheriff's Office, it appeared they had been there quite some time. Silcox told News4Jax that her son-in-law was one of the corrections officers who found the bones. Leeper told News4Jax on Tuesday that the remains were not believed to be those of Joleen Cummings, a 34-year-old Nassau County mother of three who disappeared in May 2018.
Psychiatrist: Kimberly Kessler's prognosis 'poor without medication'
According to a psychiatric evaluation, Mhatre spoke with Kessler while her attorneys were present for about 30 minutes before Kessler left the session. While attempting to communicate further with Kessler, Mhatre wrote that Kessler began ignoring him and continued talking with her attorneys. According to Mhatre's evaluation, Kessler confirmed she was facing a murder charge and accused of stealing a vehicle. In his summary, Mhatre wrote Kessler "clearly showed some delusions and paranoid thinking." Mhatre said Kessler's overall prognosis is poor without medication, but he wrote that he believes if she is appropriately treated that she could eventually become competent to proceed.
Kimberly Kessler transferred to Florida State Hospital
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The woman charged with murder in the disappearance of a Nassau County mother of three has been moved into state custody for treatment. Kimberly Kessler, whos accused of killing 34-year-old Joleen Cummings, was committed July 23 to Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee to restore competency.Kessler was found not competent to stand trial July 2 by a state-appointed psychologist, who agreed with the opinion previously given by a psychiatrist for Kesslers defense. She will undergo treatment at the hospital under the supervision of the Department of Children and Families. Cummings, who worked at Tangles hair salon in Yulee, has been missing since May 2018. Her co-worker, Kessler, is believed to be the last person to see her alive.
Kimberly Kessler found not competent to stand trial
Kimberly Kessler, who is charged with murdering Joleen Cummings, had her second mental competency exam last month after her defense attorneys claimed a psychiatrist they'd hired had found Kessler, 50, not fit for trial. Kessler was then examined by a psychologist chosen by the state, who also found her not competent. "In essence, what the state of Florida is doing is trying to make a determination if they can make her competent," Nichols said. Nichols expects this process to go on for a couple of years before a judge might find Kessler competent, but Nichols said it is possible she will stand trial eventually. Johnson said she believes Kessler is playing a game and is trying to outsmart the system by pretending to not be competent.
Joleen Cummings' mom says message in daughter's book calms her rage
Kessler, who is charged with killing her former co-worker Joleen Cummings, is expected to be back in court next week for a hearing about two mental evaluations she's had. Cummings' mother, Anne Johnson, regularly comes to court for updates in the case and said she's disappointed that the case isn't further along more than a year after her daughter disappeared. COURT DOCUMENT: Order for competency examinationAs she continues following the tedious court process, Johnson asked the community to pray for her and her family. She shared a message from her daughter's Bible that she said brings her comfort in her grief. It kind of gives me a calmness because I was feeling that rage.Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.