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Sister of accused Valrico murderer believes guilt led him to attempt suicide

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – For the family of James Hanson Jr., the past couple of weeks have been a double whammy.

First, their brother stood accused of a bank robbery, carjacking and murder. Then, a week later, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office officials say he tried to kill himself in jail.

“We feel really bad,” sister Susan Correa said. “We were raised up to have morals and values.”

She tells WFLA her family is shocked at the accusations against her younger brother.

He’s accused of robbing a Valrico bank, then carjacking customer Mathew Korattiyil. The victim’s body was found behind a nearby church.

Hanson’s sister explained that the grief for the victim’s family is immeasurable.

“I just want to send out my deepest condolences because if it was the other way around, I would want whoever did this to my brother to die, or my father,” she said.

Correa thinks her brother tried to kill himself at the Falkenburg Road Jail because of mental illness and the guilt that came with the alleged murder of a beloved local businessman.

The family says doctors told them Hanson is brain dead and won’t pull through.

“That’s what’s scary. I’ve lost my brother three times and now I’m losing him for good. There’s no replacing him if you lose your memory, what else?” Correa said.

She went on to say her brother isn’t the person portrayed by investigators.

“I just want the world to know he’s really not a monster they think he is. He’s not like this. He was a good boy,” she said.

Correa explained that her brother suffers from mental illness and heard voices in his head prior the to the Aug. 6 crime spree.

At last check, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office said Hanson remained in critical condition.

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