VALRICO, Fla. (FOX 13) - The suspect accused of robbing a Valrico bank and killing his carjacking victim gave a full confession following his Tuesday crime spree, deputies announced.
A day after a grandfather was carjacked, held hostage, and ultimately killed, many wonder why the accused killer was out of jail in the first place, having been given a life sentence in 2002.
Court records show James Hanson was sentenced to life in prison for robbing a bank in Tampa 17 years ago.
After serving a total of 16 years in prison, Hanson walked out July 2, with a second chance.
“He did what most defendants who are sentenced to life in prison do, filed multiple appeals,” said Anthony Rickman, a defense attorney with no ties to the case.
According to Rickman, Hanson won an appeal that claimed his attorneys, at the time of the trial, were ineffective, and evidence that would have exonerated him was withheld.
Despite his lengthy and violent criminal history, Hanson's life sentence was reduced.
Not even a month after becoming a free man, Hanson is accused of robbing a Center State Bank in Valrico August 6, and then carjacking and killing a man who was parking outside.
An affidavit reveals Hanson's responses to detectives' questioning. It describes the violent encounter with Mathew Korattiyil, 68, who was forced by Hanson to stay in his SUV.
Hanson told investigators he drove to a nearby church where Korattiyil asked to be let free.
The suspect recalled getting punched by Korattiyil and then running after the older man who was trying to escape.
Hanson confessed to detectives that he strangled Korattiyil with his bare hands and a belt.
Korattiyi was a father of three and a grandfather to many children. He also worked for years in a gas station convenience store that he owned. Community members in Valrico told FOX 13 he was friendly and loved.
A judge denied Hanson bond Wednesday. He's facing first-degree murder among other charges.
Legal experts say it's possible the State Attorney's Office will seek the death penalty.