Kathy Hoyt, once facing an attempted murder charge, gets probation | TheUnion.com

Kathy Hoyt, once facing an attempted murder charge, gets probation

Once facing an attempted murder charge, Kathy Hoyt is free.

Nevada County authorities released Hoyt, 49, after she was sentenced Friday to five years' probation on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Hoyt has remained in the Nevada County Jail since her September arrest on accusations she stabbed a man at a Grass Valley homeless camp. She went to trial in May on an attempted murder charge. A jury deadlocked, and Hoyt later that month pleaded no contest to the assault charge.

Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger on Friday called Hoyt's case unusual, saying she qualifies for probation.

"The crime was committed because of a mental condition," the judge said.

Heidelberger noted that she'd read a handful of letters submitted to her about Hoyt, one of them from the victim. Defense attorney David Alkire, who represents Hoyt, has said the victim supported a probationary sentence.

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According to Alkire, plans are set for Hoyt to stay at a respite center, temporary housing that's staffed all day.

"It appears to be the ideal situation, at least initially," Alkire said.

Deputy District Attorney Ed Grubaugh has said he'd argue for prison time. He made no new arguments Friday after the judge said she intended to hand down probation for Hoyt.

The maximum time Hoyt faced behind bars was six years on the assault charge. She faced a maximum of 13 years in prison on the attempted murder charge.

The victim, who testified last year in a preliminary hearing, said he didn't believe Hoyt intended to kill him. He was reading at his campsite when Hoyt began stabbing him.

He walked about 600 feet to a Sutton Way bus stop. Passersby spotted him lying down and he was taken for medical treatment, police have said.

Authorities arrested Hoyt shortly afterward.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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