NewsLocal NewsI-Team Investigations


Career criminal facing murder charge got out of prison early on good behavior

James Hanson 2
Posted at 6:27 PM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 19:18:58-04

The career criminal charged with killing a bank customer during an armed robbery was released from prison last month on good behavior – even as the prison reported him for discipline issues just weeks before he walked out of prison, the I-Team found.

James Hanson had been serving a life sentence for robbing a bank in 2002 – a sentence that made him ineligible for early release.

But I-Team Investigator Kylie McGivern found the state prison created rules that allowed Hanson to rack up early release credits that he could cash in once his sentence was reduced.


Hanson received a reduced sentence of 20 years in 2016 after an appeal.

The Florida Department of Corrections confirmed Hanson never served that full 20-year sentence and walked out of prison three years early on good behavior credits.

Hanson was able to earn time off his sentence through a state prison program that can award up to 60 days credit at a time for education, conduct and good hygiene, according to a review of rules created by DOC.

Hanson is back behind bars again after the latest crimes.

Deputies say Hanson robbed a bank at gunpoint, carjacked a bank customer and then killed him – an alleged crime spree that came less than five weeks after his early release.

But questions remain after an earlier I-Team report found Hanson was disciplined for “disobeying order” just weeks before his release.

The I-Team has requested Hanson’s prison discipline records, but so far, the Department of Corrections hasn’t responded to that request or answered questions about why prison officials recommended Hanson for early release.