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Lawyer asks to quit defending dad in starving boy’s case

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By Damon Lawrence

Matthew Dotson, the father accused of starving his son to death, may have to find a new defense attorney.
His current legal advocate, Knoxville attorney Joseph Lodato, filed a motion in Roane County Criminal Court to withdraw from the case “due to his (Dotson’s) failure to fulfill contractual obligations,” Lodato said in the motion to withdraw.
The motion has yet to be granted by a judge.
Dotson and his wife, Amanda, are charged with first-degree murder in the death of their 2-year-old son Clifford.
Sheriff Jack Stockton said Clifford weighed around 12 pounds at the time of his death, and the investigator who worked on the case said a preliminary autopsy indicated the toddler died of severe malnutrition.
Amanda Dotson is represented by assistant public defender Walter Johnson.
Earlier this year, Lodato filed a motion on behalf of Matthew Dotson asking that the case be moved out of the Ninth Judicial District because of pre-trial publicity.
That motion is still pending.