A sentencing hearing for Zachary Gardner, who was convicted last month in the 2017 shooting death of his wife, was not held as scheduled Monday because Gardner has hired a new attorney, according to county prosecutor Larry Schwartz.

The new sentencing date is 1:30 p.m. May 29 at Cowley County District Court in Winfield.

Gardner’s new attorney is Tim Scimeca of Wichita. Gardner’s previous attorneys, Chad Giles of Arkansas City and Michael Brown of Derby, were court appointed. According to the rules of court appointment, Giles and Brown are no longer involved in the case, Schwartz said.

Schwartz did not know why Gardner decided to hire a new attorney this late in the case, but said it is not a common occurrence. Scimeca couldn’t be reached Monday for comment.

A Cowley County jury convicted Gardner of second degree murder, unintentional, with extreme indifference and recklessness, on Feb. 7 in connection with the Jan. 15, 2017, death of his wife, Melissa Gardner, at their Winfield residence. He remains incarcerated in the Cowley County Jail.

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