Valrico carjacking suspect in critical condition after suicide attempt in jail

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office say James Hanson, Jr. confessed to robbing a Valrico bank and strangling a 68-year-old man. Hanson has been in the county jail since that Aug. 6 day.
James Hanson Jr., the suspect in Tuesday’s Valrico bank robbery and subsequent carjacking and murder, is seen at a pre-trial detention hearing on Friday, Aug. 09, 2019 at the Hillsborough County courthouse in Tampa.  [ALLIE GOULDING   |   Times]
James Hanson Jr., the suspect in Tuesday’s Valrico bank robbery and subsequent carjacking and murder, is seen at a pre-trial detention hearing on Friday, Aug. 09, 2019 at the Hillsborough County courthouse in Tampa. [ALLIE GOULDING | Times]
Published August 13
Updated August 13

TAMPA — The Valrico man facing a charge of first-degree murder in the carjacking death of 68-year-old Mathew Korattiyil tried to commit suicide Tuesday while being held at the Falkenburg Road Jail, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

James Hanson, Jr., 39, went into the yard during recreation/shower time at about 8:30 a.m. He hid a sheet under a towel, tied it to a basketball goal in the recreation area then hung himself, the agency said.

A deputy noticed Hanson's attempt to harm himself and intervened. He quickly performed CPR on Hanson and paramedics were called in.

Hanson was taken to Tampa General Hospital. He was reported to be in critical condition late Tuesday.

RELATED STORY: Man arrested in Valrico carjacking, murder escaped a life sentence. But how?

Investigators say Hanson has confessed to robbing the CenterState Bank in Valrico on Aug. 6 and carjacking Korattiyil to make his escape. Hanson then strangled the retired convenience store owner and took off with his vehicle.

The jail incident remains under investigation.

Contact Paul Guzzo at pguzzo@tampabay.com or follow @PGuzzoTimes

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