Son of murder victim: ‘We want to make sure my father’s legacy is heard’

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Korattiyil family remains shocked and devastated weeks after Mathew Korattiyil was murdered by a convicted felon.

“This is a very tough time for our family,” Korattiyil’s son, Melvin, said over the phone Tuesday. “We want to make sure my father’s legacy is continued and heard.”

Just hours before speaking to 8 On Your Side, friends and family members were in court to witness the arraignment of suspect James Hanson, Jr. It comes weeks after Hanson tried to commit suicide at the Falkenburg Road Jail in Hillsborough County. The attempt failed, and Tuesday, Hanson appeared in court in a wheelchair.

“I thought it was a very cowardly act on his part,” Melvin Korattiyil said about Hanson’s attempt to escape justice.

Hanson, 39, was arrested in early August and charged with first degree murder, carjacking, robbery, grand theft and resisting arrest. He’s accused of carjacking Korattiyil from a bank parking lot in Valrico, then killing him hours later. His body was found behind a church.

His son wants the focus to shift from the suspect to his father, who retired less than two years ago after spending decades operating a Hillsborough County convenience store.

“[He was] enjoying the fruits of his labor,” Melvin said about his father’s retirement.

“You couldn’t find a more innocent person,” his son said.

The family remains steadfast in its pursuit of justice and also thanks people throughout the Bay Area for their support during an incredibly difficult time.

“We’re really grateful for the support from the community,” Melvin said.

LATEST STORIES:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Pirate ship themed cruise set to make maiden voyage on Gasparilla

Thumbnail for the video titled "Pirate ship themed cruise set to make maiden voyage on Gasparilla"

Storm Team 8 Forecast: Cooler temps with abundant sunshine today

Thumbnail for the video titled "Storm Team 8 Forecast: Cooler temps with abundant sunshine today"

Gasparilla 2020: What to know before you go

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gasparilla 2020: What to know before you go"

Law enforcement runs tight ship to keep 2020 Gasparilla safe

Thumbnail for the video titled "Law enforcement runs tight ship to keep 2020 Gasparilla safe"

Mortgage mess fixed

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mortgage mess fixed"

Veteran relieved after dangerous oak tree removed from near his home

Thumbnail for the video titled "Veteran relieved after dangerous oak tree removed from near his home"

New medical marijuana dispensary opens in Lutz 'There was a tremendous need'

Thumbnail for the video titled "New medical marijuana dispensary opens in Lutz 'There was a tremendous need'"

Politics On Your Side - January 19, 2020

Thumbnail for the video titled "Politics On Your Side - January 19, 2020"

Gasparilla invasion causes headaches for business and residents

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gasparilla invasion causes headaches for business and residents"

Sarasota Beef' O Brady's employee tests positive for Hepatitis A

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sarasota Beef' O Brady's employee tests positive for Hepatitis A"

Path of Destruction: Polk County Deputies investigate why driver of Jeep lost control

Thumbnail for the video titled "Path of Destruction: Polk County Deputies investigate why driver of Jeep lost control"
More Local News

Latest Videos

More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss