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Road rage trial delayed
michael hoyt 1
Michael Hoyt - photo by Photo Contributed

For the second time, a preliminary hearing has been postponed for a Turlock man accused of beating to death a Hilmar man in an incident of suspected road rage.

The preliminary hearing for Michael Hoyt was scheduled to begin Tuesday, but a Stanislaus County Superior Court judge issued a continuance because the defense attorney needed additional time to prepare. The first continuance was issued in October 2010 because a pathologist scheduled to testify was out of the country.

Hoyt is facing a charge of homicide in the death of 67-year-old Kenneth Winter of Hilmar.

According to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, which was the arresting agency, Hoyt was seen by a witness beating the 67-year-old man in the middle of Paulson Road, near the Linwood Avenue intersection on Feb. 1, 2010.

The sheriff’s department said it was a traffic incident that triggered the confrontation.

Winter was rushed to Emanuel Medical Center, where he died from his injuries.

Hoyt was arrested at his home later that day.

Hoyt pled not guilty on Feb. 10, 2010. He is currently free on bail while awaiting trial.

The preliminary hearing is being held to determine if there is enough cause to hold Hoyt over for trial on the homicide charge.

The preliminary hearing was re-scheduled for March 8.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.