SADO Secures Freedom for Man in Murder Case

Charges Against Jimmie Nelson Dismissed

On April 21, 2014, Judge Ronald M. Bergeron granted Iosco County Prosecutor Nichol Palumbo’s motion formally dismissing murder charges against Jimmie Nelson. Mr. Nelson had been convicted of second-degree murder in 2010 in the case of a woman who disappeared in August 1980. He served three years in prison before being released on appeal bond in November 2013. His release and the eventual dismissal of the charges was secured through the dogged efforts of his attorney, Assistant Defender Christine A. Pagac.

The Michigan Court of Appeals first overturned Mr. Nelson’s conviction in 2012, holding that there was not sufficient evidence to support it. After reversal by the Michigan Supreme Court, the case was remanded to the Court of Appeals to consider issues that had been raised but not decided initially. In 2013, SADO filed a motion in the Court of Appeals seeking a new trial based on newly discovered evidence and the State’s failure to turn over exculpatory evidence before the trial. The prosecutor agreed that the interests of justice supported the grant of a new trial. In February 2014, the Court of Appeals granted the motion for a new trial, citing to evidence it said suggested another person had committed the crime.

Mr. Nelson's story is featured on the National Exoneration Registry.