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Attorney Matt Hagen dead at 39

By: Bennett Loudon//July 26, 2016

Attorney Matt Hagen dead at 39

By: Bennett Loudon//July 26, 2016

Calling hours for attorney Matthew C. Hagen, who died unexpectedly on July 21, are 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 28, at Anthony Funeral Chapel, 2305 Monroe Ave.

The cause of death was not released for Hagen, 39, who recently championed the case of a man he believed was wrongly convicted of murder.

Hagen investigated the case of Jose Torres and gathered affidavits that led to a hearing before state Supreme Court Justice Francis A. Affronti. The hearing was held in May and Affronti’s decision is expected in the next week or two.

“It breaks my heart that he’s not going to find out,” said Hagen’s wife, Hilary.

Torres is in prison for the murder of Miguel Cruz on July 4, 2001. Hagen obtained an affidavit from another prison inmate, Angel Carrasquillo, saying he actually committed the murder. Carrasquillo is doing a life-without-parole sentence for murder.

Hagen also got an affidavit from Steve Rivera, Carrasquillo’s cousin and a witness who claims it was Carrasquillo he saw running from the crime scene.

“It’s definitely a complete shock,” said David Abbatoy, a lawyer who is representing Torres in his motion to reconsider his conviction.

“This project, this case here, Matt literally gave his life over to this,” Abbatoy said.

Matt Hagen
Matt Hagen

Hagen was born in Newton, Mass., and earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Miami. He earned his law degree at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio and was admitted to practice in New York state in 2009. Hagen worked about 3 1/2 years at the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office before going into private practice.

“His passion was to help those who couldn’t defend themselves,” said his wife of three years.

Hagen was married once before and divorced.

Hagen was an avid Boston Celtics fan and very interested in Native American culture.

“He loved his kids, he absolutely adored all of them,” Hilary Hagen said.

In addition to his wife, Hagen, is survived by: Their 8 1/2-month-old daughter, Paige; two children with his first wife, Gwen and J.T. Hagen; his mother, Dianne Chapell Hagen; sister, Cate Masterson; and step-children, Tyler and Olivia.

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