Friends seeking help for stabbing victim
by Rachel Gray
January 17, 2014 11:30 PM | 11770 views | 6 6 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jeff and Kelly Nelms (Photo taken from Kelly Nelms' Facebook.)
Jeff and Kelly Nelms (Photo taken from Kelly Nelms' Facebook.)
MARIETTA — Close friends of a young father are asking for continued support while he lies in a coma at Kennestone Hospital after being stabbed in the chest last weekend.

Jeff Nelms, 28, of Acworth and his wife, Kelly Mankin Nelms, were out late Saturday night with a few other couples celebrating her 29th birthday.

“We hardly ever go out and do anything,” said Katie Tatum, who has known the Nelmses since she met her boyfriend, Josh Nelms, Jeff’s brother, four years ago.

On Saturday night, Jeff Nelms was waiting in the parking lot of The Place Bar & Grill, near the corner of Sandy Plains Road and Canton Road in Marietta, for his wife to come out of the bathroom before heading home, Tatum said.

Kelly Nelms came out of the bar, Tatum said, when a man in a truck starting to make a pass at her.

Tatum said the Nelmses did not know the man. That man was John Myer of Smyrna, police say.

“They had never seen that guy in the bar,” Tatum said.

Tatum said Kelly Nelms accidentally bumped Myer’s truck, which resulted in Myer exiting the vehicle in an aggressive manner.

That is when, according to Tatum, Jeff Nelms intervened to protect his wife.

The verbal altercation escalated when Myer stabbed Nelms once in the chest with a pocketknife, according to the arrest warrant.

For Myer to be that quick with a folding blade, Tatum said, “he must have had it ready.”

Funds raised for local family

Myer, 28, fled the scene and was arrested at 2:22 a.m. Sunday on Shadybrook Drive on charges of aggravated assault, according to Marietta Police. Myer was released that afternoon on a $35,000 bond.

Jeff Nelms had emergency open-heart surgery this week, and remained in a medically induced coma Friday afternoon.

For six days, Jeff Nelms has been in the intensive care unit, and doctors do not expect him to be released for another week or two, Tatum said.

“He is nowhere near coming home,” Tatum said.

Jeff Nelms is raising a stepdaughter and two sons with Kelly Mankin Nelms. The youngest, Max, was born in September.

An online fundraising page,, was set up by Jami Johnson for Nelms.

By Friday afternoon, the website had raised $2,713 from 57 supporters with donations ranging from $10 to $450.

“He doesn’t have insurance and his work does not have short-term disability and he is the sole provider for his family, making the next few weeks incredibly difficult,” Johnson wrote online.

Jeff Nelms is an electrician who works for Cherry Electric in Smyrna, Tatum said.

Kelly Nelms, a stay-at-home mom, is getting a lot of support, Tatum said, but “the kids, are yelling, ‘Dada, Dada,’” wanting their father to come home.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
January 20, 2014
That bar seems like an odd destination to drive 12-13 miles from Acworth or Smyrna.

Even stranger is that the guy fled the scene of a stabbing and was out on bond the same day.
Joanna Jenkins
January 19, 2014
Here's and idea, why not send Mr. Myer the bills, since he is responsible for them.
Frankie Lee
January 18, 2014
Why is there no insurance from the employer? This is a family man and sole breadwinner, obviously as an electrician, not unskilled labor. Godspeed in your healing Mr. Nelms. May you find better opportunities when you are healed. Shame on your employer
Obama Supporter
January 18, 2014
No medical insurance about signing up for the Affordable Care Act Insurance - no reason not to have no insurance
January 22, 2014
Was that a triple negative?!? What does it mean? Oh well, who would have guessed that an Obama Supporter would have horrendous grammar.
C. Coffey
January 22, 2014
Was that a triple negative?!? What does it mean? Oh well, who would have guessed that an Obama Supporter would have horrendous grammar.
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