The homicide trial of Turlock resident Michael Hoyt for the death of Hilmar resident Kenneth Winter has been granted a five month delay.
Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Ricardo Cordova issued the delay Tuesday because Hoyt’s defense attorney Frank Carson is currently in the middle of another murder trial.
Hoyt’s trial had been set to begin July 17, but has now been rescheduled to start Dec. 4.
Hoyt was arrested on Feb. 1, 2010, following the death of Winter. He is facing a second-degree murder charge. Hoyt is accused of beating Winter after a traffic incident on Paulson Road in Turlock. The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office contends the beating was so severe that it caused Winter to die from internal injuries hours after the alleged assault. The defense argues Hoyt was attacked and acted in self-defense.
The case has experienced several delays since Hoyt’s arrest and the victim’s family has expressed frustrations with the slow progress. In an earlier interview with The Journal, Winter’s widow, Bernice Winter said, “I feel like I have to be there for Ken, but every time I go to court, it’s like reliving the whole thing over again.”