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Criminal Court Judge Eugene Eblen allowed Joseph Lodato to withdraw as Matthew Dotson’s defense attorney on Tuesday.
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 in May 2012. The sheriff’s office investigator who worked on the case said a preliminary autopsy indicated the toddler died of severe malnutrition.
Matthew Dotson is out on bond while the case is pending.
Amanda Dotson is still in custody at the Roane County Jail.
Lodato filed a motion to withdraw from the case “due to his (Matthew Dotson’s) failure to fulfill contractual obligations.”
Matthew Dotson appeared with Lodato in court on Tuesday, but didn’t speak.
“At this point I will not be able to go forward and effectively represent Mr. Dotson,” Lodato told Eblen.
“I spoke with him about it and his family, and I don’t believe they’re opposing the withdrawal.”
Kent Booher was appointed to represent Matthew Dotson.
“You need to get a-hold of
him immediately,” Eblen told Dotson.