Convicted felon who once received life sentence back in court for Valrico carjacking death

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — James Hanson Junior cut a deal and escaped a life sentence. Now, he’s accused of killing an innocent man. On Wednesday, he’ll be back in court to face a judge.

The 41-year-old from Valrico was sentenced to life in prison after robbing a bank in 2002. In 2016, he made a deal with the state to testify against another criminal on trial, saying the man had confessed to him about a murder and asked him to help kill two witnesses. He testified at the man’s trial and became a free man in 2019. The next month, authorities say he kidnapped 68-year-old Mathew Korattiyil during a carjacking and strangled him to death.

Hanson was charged with carjacking, kidnapping and murder and is being held without bond at a Hillsborough County jail.

A disposition hearing on the case will take place at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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