Judge appoints new attorneys in murder case
LEAVENWORTH — A judge has appointed new attorneys to represent a man who is waiting to be resentenced for a 2008 murder in Leavenworth.
Matthew Astorga, 42, appeared Monday in Leavenworth County District Court.
Astorga was convicted in 2009 of the first-degree murder of Ruben Rodriguez. The crime occurred Dec. 26, 2008, in Leavenworth.
A Hard 50 sentence previously was imposed in the case. This meant Astorga was required to serve at least 50 years in prison before he would have been eligible for parole.
However, Astorga has to be resentenced because the state’s old Hard 50 law was struck down following a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Following the Alleyne v. United States decision, the U.S. Supreme Court remanded an appeal from Astorga to the Kansas Supreme Court for review. In 2014, the Kansas Supreme Court vacated Astorga’s Hard 50 sentence and remanded the case back to the district court level for resentencing.
Prosecutors are seeking to resentence Astorga under the state’s new Hard 50 law in which a jury will be convened for the sentencing.
In August, an attorney representing Astorga was allowed to withdraw from the case.