James Hataway granted new attorney
Main suspect in Tracy Ocasio disappearance to remain jailed
SANFORD, Fla. – The main suspect in one of Central Florida's most publicized missing persons cases was granted his request for a new attorney in a different case.
James Hataway, 34, was seen leaving a Metrowest bar with Tracy Ocasio on the night she was reported missing in 2009. Police said her car was later found abandoned near Hataway's home.
A judge on Tuesday granted a motion that Hataway filed while serving a life sentence in state prison. In the motion, Hataway alleges that mistakes were made by his attorney, who represented him in a 2008 attempted murder case.
During the trial, the victim testified that Hataway choked her after a party and then tried to snap her neck.
A jury found Hataway guilty in the case and Circuit Judge Donna McIntosh sentenced him to life in prison.
While serving his sentence, Hataway filed a motion that claims his attorney waived the right to a speedy trial against his wishes. The motion also claims that his counsel was ineffective to call a lab analyst to testify against the victim's blood alcohol content.
A new status hearing was scheduled for March 10.
Hataway will remain jailed in Seminole County during his appeal.
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