ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
80°
Partly Cloudy
H 84° L 65°
  • cloudy-day
    80°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 84° L 65°
  • cloudy-day
    66°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 84° L 65°
  • cloudy-day
    78°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 80° L 65°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Three Big Things
 you need to know
1
2
3
PHOTOS: Nassau County deputies searching for man last seen in September

PHOTOS: Nassau County deputies searching for man last seen in September

He hasn't been seen or heard from since last fall. The Nassau County Sheriff's Office is asking the community to keep an eye out for David Shearin, 36.  According to deputies, Shearin's family reported him missing last Wednesday, but he actually hasn't been heard from since September 21, 2017. Shearin is described as having brown hair, blue eyes, and is 5’6” tall. He weighs between 150-175 pounds and has a distinct tattoo of what appears to be a skull on one of his arms. If you have any information about where Shearin could be, you're urged to contact Detective Herrington at (904) 548-4003.

Neuropsychologist: Donald Smith is a “psychopath”

Neuropsychologist: Donald Smith is a “psychopath”

Whether or not Donald Smith had trouble controlling his pedophilic impulses, the State of Florida is working to show the murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle was a deliberate act not to fulfill those urges, but to cover up his crime. Expert testimony in the penalty phase of Smith’s trial continued Wednesday with a focus on his brain abnormalities and the impact that would have on his behavior. Multiple witnesses have now testified for the defense that apparent traumatic brain injury and abnormalities would have severely impacted Smith’s impulse control.  “So, Mr. Smith, he’s stepping on the gas. He has his left hemisphere works fine. But the brakes don’t work well, and therefore, things like anger, aggression, sexuality… in order for us to all live together in harmony, we have to be able to put the brakes on behaviors that aren’t socially appropriate. Mr. Smith has deficits in the parts of his brain that help him to brake or control behavior,” said Dr. Joseph Sesta, who testified as an expert witness in neuropsychology and the Sexually Violent Predator Program in Florida.  FULL COVERAGE: The trial of Donald Smith Unlike prior witnesses, Sesta met with Smith for more than five hours- and it was as a result of that meeting that the brain scans were actually done on Smith. Sesta says those scans validated his in person assessment.  “Compared to people who are just like him, his brain doesn’t function normally,” he said.  Sesta differed from other witnesses in that he doesn’t believe Smith is suffering from CTE. He has diagnosed mild to moderate brain injury, but is unsure of the cause.  Beyond the physiological elements, Sesta says he believes Smith is a “psychopath”, meaning he’s at a high threshold of both committing bad acts and being a bad person, which manifests through personality traits like a lack of empathy, remorse, and compassion.  Other witnesses have testified that Smith was mentally ill, with diagnoses for major depressive disorder, antisocial personality, and more. Sesta says Smith told him during their meeting that he had previously tried to obtain a copy of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  “If you were trying to fake a disorder, this would be your Bible to guide you to what symptoms you should produce,” he said.  He, in fact, discounted what Smith told him during a personality testing portion of their meeting, because of what he believed to be “grossly overdone” faking.  “This is what psychopaths do. They’re manipulative, they’re cunning, they’re going to try to trick you and fool you. So no, I wasn’t surprised this is what Mr. Smith did,” Sesta said.  What makes this case unique to what Sesta has seen before, is that combination of Smith being a pedophile, a psychopath, and suffering the brain impairment. He says the pedophilic urges were “extremely strong”, as evidenced by Smith’s actions in this case and at least one prior one.  Sesta said Smith acted different than most pedophiles, though, in a key area- he says most pedophiles don’t kill.  “You can’t do what Mr. Smith did to Cherish and expect it not to go unnoticed,” Sesta said, regarding the autopsy photos he had reviewed.  That’s an area the state seized on.  “It was your opinion that he killed her because he thought that he needed to avoid capture, or he benefitted by not having her alive,” asked Assistant State Attorney Mark Caliel.  “Oh sure, I agree with that. He’s not dumb,” Sesta said.  While the defense has continually argued that Smith had no control over his impulses, leading to the actions of that night, prosecutors have argued the murder was a premeditated and intention act.  “I think that after he had done what he did to her body, that the only thing he could do would be to take her life,” Sesta said.  “So eliminating her as a witness,” Caliel asked.  “Absolutely,” Sesta said.  WOKV and Action News Jax continue to follow these death penalty proceedings, with testimony continuing through the day.

Billy Graham preached simple message, reached millions

Billy Graham preached simple message, reached millions

The Rev. Billy Graham was anxious about his 1954 appearance at the London School of Economics. The school was left-leaning and openly dismissive of religion, and Graham was insecure — he had no advanced theology degree. After he was introduced, something happened that could have derailed the already nervous evangelist. A student leapt into the room through a window and started scratching himself like an ape, clearly mocking the fundamentalist rejection of evolution. The preacher didn't miss a beat. He laughed and joked, 'He reminds me of my ancestors,' then paused and added, 'Of course, all my ancestors came from Britain.' The crowd roared, then listened respectfully to his speech. Graham, who died Wednesday at age 99, would be the first to say that his message was not complex or unique. 'The Bible says,' was his catch phrase. But he won over audiences worldwide with his friendliness, openness, humility and unyielding religious conviction. A tall, striking man with thick hair, stark blue eyes and a firm jaw, Graham was a commanding presence at his crusades. He would make the altar call in his powerful baritone, asking the multitudes to stand, come down the aisles and publicly make 'decisions for Christ,' as a choir crooned the hymn 'Just As I Am.' By his final crusade in 2005 in New York City, he had preached in person to more than 210 million people worldwide. Graham wasn't always so skilled. After World War II, as an evangelist in the U.S. and Europe with Youth for Christ, he was dubbed 'the Preaching Windmill' for his arm-swinging and rapid-fire speech. His first meeting with a U.S. president, Harry Truman, was a disaster. Wearing a pastel suit and loud tie that Graham would later say made him look like a vaudeville performer, the preacher, unfamiliar with protocol, told reporters what he had discussed with Truman, then posed for photos. But these were early stumbles on his path to renown. A 1949 Los Angeles revival in a tent dubbed the 'Canvas Cathedral' turned Graham into evangelism's rising star. Legendary publisher William Randolph Hearst had ordered his papers to hype Graham, though the evangelist said he never learned why. Expectation-defying crusades soon followed in London and New York that made the preacher a global voice for Christianity. No evangelist is expected to have his level of influence again. Graham became a confidant to U.S. presidents from both major political parties. His first White House visit with Democrat Lyndon Johnson, scheduled to last only minutes, stretched instead to several hours. He stayed at the White House with Republican George H.W. Bush on the eve of the first Persian Gulf War. Graham's relationships with presidents were a source of pride for conservative Christians who were so often caricatured as backward. They were also a boon for Graham's ministry. But those ties proved problematic when his close friend Richard Nixon resigned in the Watergate scandal, leaving Graham devastated, embarrassed and baffled. Tapes newly released in 2002 caught the preacher telling Nixon that Jews 'don't know how I really feel about what they're doing to this country.' Graham apologized, saying he didn't recall ever having such feelings. He asked the Jewish community to consider his actions above his words on that recording. Graham's path to becoming 'America's pastor' began taking shape at age 16, when the Presbyterian-reared farm boy committed himself to Christ at a tent revival around Charlotte, North Carolina. 'I did not feel any special emotion,' he wrote in his 1997 autobiography, 'Just As I Am.' ''I simply felt at peace.' After high school, he enrolled at the fundamentalist Bob Jones College, but found the school stifling, and transferred to Florida Bible Institute in Tampa. There, he practiced sermonizing in a swamp, preaching to birds and alligators before tryouts with small churches. He still wasn't convinced he should be a preacher until a soul-searching, late-night ramble on a golf course. 'I finally gave in while pacing at midnight on the 18th hole,' he said. ''All right, Lord,' I said, 'If you want me, you've got me.'' He went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Wheaton College, a prominent Christian liberal arts school in Illinois. There, he met fellow student Ruth Bell, who he would marry in 1943. Graham was ordained as a Southern Baptist and came from a fundamentalist background that expected true Bible-believers to stay clear of Christians with even the most minor differences over Scripture. But as his crusades drew support from a widening array of Christian churches, he came to reject that view. He joined in a then-emerging movement called New Evangelicalism that abandoned the narrowness of fundamentalism to engage broader society. Fundamentalists excoriated the preacher for his new direction, but Graham stood fast. More than anyone else, Graham built evangelicalism into a force that rivaled liberal Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in the United States and beyond. 'The ecumenical movement has broadened my viewpoint and I recognize now that God has his people in all churches,' Graham said in the early 1950s. In 1957, he said, 'I intend to go anywhere, sponsored by anybody, to preach the Gospel of Christ.' At the height of his career, he would be on the road for months at a time. The strain of so much preaching caused the already trim Graham to lose as much as 30 pounds by the time one of his crusades ended. Ruth mostly stayed behind at their mountainside home in Montreat, North Carolina, to raise their five children: Franklin, Virginia ('Gigi'), Anne, Ruth and Nelson ('Ned'). Ruth sometimes grew so lonely when Billy was traveling that she slept with his tweed jacket for comfort. But she said, 'I'd rather have a little of Bill than a lot of any other man.' Beyond Graham's public appearances, he reached untold millions through his pioneering use of prime-time telecasts, network radio including 'The Hour of Decision,' daily newspaper columns, evangelistic feature films and satellite TV hookups. One of Graham's breakthrough films was 'The Restless Ones,' made in the 1960s, about morally adrift teens in Southern California who found the strength to withstand temptation after attending a Billy Graham crusade. The preacher received so many requests for personal advice that in the 1950s he created a syndicated newspaper column, 'My Answer,' which at its height reached tens of millions of readers. As Graham's public influence grew, the preacher's stands on the social issues of his day were closely watched and dissected. He early on took up the cause of anti-Communism, making preaching against the atheist regime part of his sermons for years. He was much less robust in his support for civil rights, a position he later said he regretted. Graham was no social activist and never joined marches, which led prominent Christians such as theologian Reinhold Niebuhr to publicly condemn Graham as too moderate. Still, Graham ended racially segregated seating at his Southern crusades in 1953, a year before the Supreme Court's school integration ruling, and long refused to visit South Africa while its white regime insisted on separating the races at meetings. In a 2005 interview with The Associated Press, before his final crusade in New York, Graham said he lamented that he didn't battle for civil rights more forcefully. 'I think I made a mistake when I didn't go to Selma' with many clergy who joined the historic Alabama march led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 'I would like to have done more.' Graham's integrity lifted him through the dark days of the late 1980s, after scandals befell TV preachers Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. Graham had resolved early on never to be alone with a woman other than his wife. Instead of taking a share of the 'love offerings' at his crusades, as was the custom, he earned a modest salary from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which was governed by an independent board, instead of by friends and relatives. 'Why, I could make a quarter of a million dollars a year in this field or in Hollywood if I wanted to,' Graham once said. 'The offers I've had from Hollywood studios are amazing. But I just laughed. I told them I was staying with God.' Later in his career, Graham visited communist Eastern Europe. Increasingly, he appealed for world peace. The preacher opened a 1983 convention of evangelists from 140 nations by urging the elimination of nuclear and biological weapons. He told audiences in Czechoslovakia that 'we must do all we can to preserve life and avoid war,' although he opposed unilateral disarmament. Health problems gradually slowed Graham, but he did not cease preaching, and for years deflected questions about a successor. Finally, in 1995 his Evangelistic Association designated his son, William Franklin Graham III, then 43, as the ministry's leader — a position the younger Graham still holds. Ruth died in June 2007 at age 87. Graham will be buried by her at the Billy Graham Museum and Library. 'I have been asked, 'What is the secret?'' Graham had said of his preaching. 'Is it showmanship, organization or what? 'The secret of my work is God. I would be nothing without him.' ___ Online: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: http://www.billygraham.org Billy Graham Center archives: http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/archhp1.html ___ Retired Associated Press Religion Writer Richard N. Ostling contributed to this report.

Donald Smith has been found guilty of the 2013 abduction, rape, and murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle in Jacksonville. Click the link above to see the latest from the trial.
Donald Smith has been found guilty of the 2013 abduction, rape, and murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle in Jacksonville. Click the link above to see the latest from the trial.
Donald Smith has been found guilty of the 2013 abduction, rape, and murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle in Jacksonville. Click the link above to see the latest from the trial.
Donald Smith has been found guilty of the 2013 abduction, rape, and murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle in Jacksonville. Click the link above to see the latest from the trial.
Congress waits to see what President Trump does on various gun control plans

As several hundred high school students rallied at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, asking lawmakers to press for gun controls, there were more calls in the halls of Congress for action on gun violence, with both parties waiting to see what the President might do on guns, as the White House did not immediately reject some of the ideas, like age limits for people buying high-powered weapons like an AR-15.

“I think that’s certainly something that’s on the table for us to discuss and that we expect to come up in the next couple of weeks,” White House Press Secretary Sarah [More]