A pretrial conference has been set in the case of a man who is awaiting re-sentencing for a 2008 murder in Leavenworth.

A pretrial conference has been set in the case of a man who is awaiting re-sentencing for a 2008 murder in Leavenworth.

The pretrial conference for Matthew Astorga is scheduled for Aug. 9

Astorga, 40, is awaiting to be re-sentenced for the first-degree murder of Ruben Rodriguez.

Astorga was convicted of the murder in 2009 and received what is known as a Hard 50 sentence. This means he received a life sentence without possibility of parole for at least 50 years.

But he now has to be re-sentenced because the state’s old Hard 50 law was struck down by a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Under a new law, a jury will have to decide whether Astorga should once again receive the Hard 50 sentence. Court officials refer to this sentencing proceeding as a jury trial.

A date for the jury trial likely will be chosen during the pretrial conference.

The date for the pretrial conference was set Friday in Leavenworth County District Court.

Astorga, who remains in the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections, was not in the courtroom for Friday’s hearing. But he was represented by his new court-appointed attorney, Joel Rook.

Astorga has another case pending in Leavenworth County. In that case, he is facing a felony charge of battery on a county corrections officer for allegedly spitting in the face of an officer July 15, 2014, at the Leavenworth County Jail.

A pretrial conference in this case also has been scheduled for Aug. 9.

District Judge Gunnar Sundby said Astorga will be transported to Leavenworth County for the pretrial conferences.

A Kansas Department of Corrections website indicates that Astorga currently is in custody at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility.

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