Michael Paul Astorga and my piece is titled: “Wrongfully and Unjustly Convicted.”
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. Hello, my name is Michael Paul Astorga. I like to start by taking the time to thank you for the opportunity to tell my story. On March 22nd, 2006 at approximately 12:44 AM, a New Mexico state deputy was murdered in the East Mountain.
It was the day that will forever change both mine and my loved ones’ life as I became the state’s number one suspect. After a long four years and a lengthy trial, in May- June of 2010, despite the fact that I was over an hour away from the crime scene, at a friend’s home with several witnesses, with no scientific nor forensic evidence, they tied me to the murder. Only one eyewitness that claim she seen a beat-up old white pickup with two men inside, and she said she seen it speed away from the crime scene. Please keep in mind my pickup was golden color and diesel operated. And not to mention key evidence, including dash-camera evidence, footage that the state kept out of the trial and away from the eye- the jury’s eyes.
I was found guilty of the deputy’s murder. From day one, I never stood a chance. You see this was not just any murder case. This was the one- this was one of their own. They were going to get a conviction no matter what it took. With high- the high political corruption in New Mexico, the biased media coverage, and ineffective assistance of counsel, I didn’t stand a chance. I was convicted before the trial ever began. The worst part about it was they weren’t out just for a conviction; they were out for my life. The state was seeking the death penalty, but what the state didn’t realize, was that I had God on my side, and he was not going to let me die.
In May- June of 2012, when the death penalty phase was over, the jury did not unanimously agree that I should be put to death. They stated to the judge that they had doubts about a just conviction and a presumption of innocence. So instead I was sentenced to life in prison. This would be my first victory, but it would not be the last. With the love and support of my family, and with the good Lord in my corner, I will be victorious, and the truth shall set me free. Thank you for your time.
(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.