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One killed in road rage attack
Michael Hoyt, 49, of Turlock was charged with homicide after beating a Hilmar man to death in an apparent road rage incident. - photo by Photo Contributed
An incident of road rage may have been the catalyst that sparked an assault that resulted in the death of a Hilmar senior and the arrest of a Turlock man on homicide charges.
The victim of the beating was identified by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department as Kenneth Winter, 67, of Hilmar.
Arrested for Winter’s death was Michael Hoyt, 49, of Turlock.
The incident began shortly before noon Monday on Paulson Road, near the Linwood Avenue intersection. It is unknown what exactly triggered the attack. According to the witness statements made to sheriff’s detectives, Hoyt stopped his truck in the middle of the road — around the 1700 block of Paulson — and started to beat on Winter.
Sheriff’s Detective Darwin Hatfield said one witness yelled at Hoyt to leave Winter alone, which prompted Hoyt to flee the area, leaving the bloodied man in the road.
The 911 call was initially dispatched as a request for medical aid and paramedics transported Winter to Emanuel Medical Center prior to law enforcement’s arrival.
Winter was suffering from internal bleeding and was taken into surgery. He died from his injuries early Tuesday morning, according to the sheriff’s department.
One witness to the assault was able to provide sheriff’s investigators with information about Hoyt’s whereabouts, Hatfield said. Hoyt was detained at his Turlock home and taken to the sheriff’s department for questioning. He was initially booked on attempted homicide and elder abuse charges, Hatfield said. After Winter’s death the charges were amended to homicide.
Hoyt is currently being held at the Stanislaus County Jail without bail.
Hoyt’s girlfriend was a passenger in the truck during the assault and has spoken with investigators, Hatfield said.
In 2003, Hoyt was facing a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery until the case was dismissed in 2004, according to Stanislaus County court records.
Hoyt is scheduled for arraignment today in Stanislaus County Superior Court.
A few witnesses to the assault have spoken with sheriff’s investigators, but Hatfield believes there are others who may have seen some of the assault, or what triggered it.
“We believe there are additional witnesses to this crime and we would like to talk to those witnesses concerning this case,” Hatfield said.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Detective Darwin Hatfield at 525-7100.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.