A 29-year-old Winton man accused of viciously beating a 31-year-old woman will probably be headed back to court, after jurors were deadlocked in his trial last week.
Jared Stupay allegedly bit the woman on the face on April 28. The next day, he allegedly beat her with a baseball bat and kicked her, leaving a traumatic injury to her skull. He was charged with two felony battery counts, a great bodily injury enhancement and a misdemeanor battery charge. Stupay was facing about 19 years in prison if convicted.
Jurors reached a decision in the four-day trial Sept. 24, and were split 9-3 on the first battery count, with the majority favoring acquittal. Jurors were split 11-1 on the second count, with the majority favoring acquittal. Stupay was found not guilty on the third misdemeanor count.
The charges against Stupay included a strike enhancement for a previous assault with a deadly weapon conviction on his record.
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Deputy District Attorney Brian Karr said his office will probably retry the case. He was surprised about the outcome of the trial. "I think it just really boiled down to who was believable," Karr said. "The credibility of the victim came into play, and apparently the jury just didn't believe her testimony."
Karr acknowledged the victim's testimony changed on the stand, compared to what she had told deputies. He said the victim claimed she received some of the injuries because she was "jumped" by a couple of people and hit her head on ground when she fell. The victim didn't elaborate on who those people were, Karr said.
Defense attorney John Garcia maintained the victim made up the story in order to avoid her own legal troubles. Garcia said the woman had been charged with burglary and unlawful use of a credit card, but was given immunity to testify at Stupay's trial. Karr acknowledged the victim was given immunity from a pending unlawful use of a credit card charge.
Garcia said the victim's statements were inconsistent. "I think the jury was hard-pressed to find the true facts, versus her testimony on the stand," Garcia said.
Stupay remains at the Merced County Jail without bail.
Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.