An appeal has been filed with the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals on behalf of a man from Kingston convicted in the starvation death of his 2-year-old son. Court officials say Matthew Dotson was convicted of murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect. When 2-year-old Clifford Dotson died in 2012, authorities said he weighed just 12 pounds. An autopsy determined the toddler didn’t get sufficient food or water, and died from severe malnutrition. The jury sentenced Matthew Dotson to life without parole.
The child’s mother, Amanda Dotson, plead guilty to facilitation of murder and is serving a 40-year sentence.
This past August, Circuit Court Judge Mike Pemberton denied a request for a new trial for Matthew Dotson.
The Court of Criminal Appeals was created by the Tennessee legislature in 1967 to hear trial court appeals in felony and misdemeanor cases. They also consider post-conviction petitions, which is the case for Dotson at this point. As an appellate court, there are no juries and the court does not hear testimony from witnesses. Rather, attorneys present oral and written arguments for the court’s consideration.
When the Tennessee Court of Appeals will hear the Dotson case will be announced at a later time.