Turlock road rage suspect pleads not guilty

February 10, 2010 

The 49-year-old man accused of killing another motorist in an alleged fit of road rage pleaded not guilty today to murder.

A judge formally charged Michael Hoyt with murder at the arraignment hearing.

Relatives of Ken Winter, 67, said the elder man was dragged from his truck by Hoyt near Linwood Avenue and Paulson Road in Turlock. They said Winter died from internal bleeding as result of the fight.

“He never had a chance,” said Winter’s wife, Bernice.

Defense attorney Frank Carson said Hoyt sustained a broken rib and bruises from Winter and said Hoyt has not been given medical treatment in jail. “It was obvious to me the distress he was in,” Carson said.

Deputy District Attorney Wendell Emerson said Hoyt never told officers of any injuries at the time of his arrest.

“This is a new development,” Emerson said.

Superior Court Judge Ricardo Córdova ordered that Hoyt be given a medical screening.

Hoyt will return to court Feb. 26, when Carson will ask for Hoyt’s bail to be reduced. Hoyt is currently in jail on $2 million bail.

Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone can be reached at 578-2337.

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