Former attorney admits he helped bury woman's body years ago - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Former attorney admits he helped bury woman's body years ago

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(04/09/13) - A shocking admission from a former Mid-Michigan attorney, Tuesday, during his sentencing in federal court.

Michael Hoy admitted he helped bury a woman's body years ago.

The confession came out as U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith was going through the sentencing process. Hoy had previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession of an unregistered machinegun (sic).

Goldsmith was questioning whether Hoy should have a psychological evaluation.  

"What strikes me is his assistance in disposing of a body of a woman killed by an acquaintance," said Goldsmith.
 
Hoy's attorney, who is also his uncle, Gordon Hoy, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Haviland both argued against the evaluation. Goldsmith took a brief break and then continued the sentencing hearing.

In the end, Tuesday's hearing shed new light on the 2005 murder of 23-year-old Katie Cook whose remains were just found last summer.  Hoy even said he helped lead police to them. 

He never said Cook's name, but Haviland and Goldsmith did.

Hoy said a close friend, who had started acting mentally ill in 2003, came over to pick him up for a beer.  They instead went to the friend's home, went inside and there was a body on the floor, according to Hoy. Hoy said his friend flashed a handgun in his waistband. Hoy never named the friend, but told Goldsmith the friend told him he'd be helping him bury the body. Hoy said he was scared and he did help.  He never reported it to police and apologized for denying her family closure.

A massive, 15-day dig uncovered Cook's skeletal remains in a Gaines Township cornfield last summer late July and into August.  See story HERE.

During a news conference announcing the developments, Mt. Morris Township Police Chief Scott McKenna and Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said new information led them to that field. They said the murder suspect was Cook's boyfriend at the time.

"We do have a suspect. That suspect is in jail, in the state of Missouri, for an unrelated assault with intent to murder on yet another girlfriend. He's not going anywhere," said Leyton then.

See story HERE. Leyton said then, investigators believed one other person assisted him after the fact. 

McKenna kept on the case all those years and pushed for justice.

Tuesday, he said, "For the sake of Katie Cook's family, I'm glad the truth is finally coming out."

No charges have been issued in Cook's murder yet.

The suspect remains in jail, in Missouri, on that alleged attack.

Tuesday, Hoy was sentenced to one year in federal prison and then another year in a resident reentry program as part of his three year probation. 

That part of this complicated case stems from a search conducted at Hoy's Swartz Creek area home July 24, 2012.

A portion of Hoy's plea agreement reads:

"...Mt. Morris Township Police officers investigating an unrelated crime executed a search warrant at...the residence of defendant Michael D. Hoy.  They found numerous firearms and ammunition, including the six machineguns described in the indictment."

Hoy and his wife Joy Hoy were originally charged with manufacturing and possessing machine guns and possessing a device that converts semi automatic weapons into fully automatic firearms, according to previous ABC12 stories. The couple was also charged with possessing body armor.  It's not clear if she still faces charges.  She was in court with him Tuesday.  Five of Hoy's charges were dismissed as part of his plea deal.

Hoy told Goldsmith he legally purchased gun parts through the mail and illegally assembled them. He said, had he had the money he would have legally purchased registered weapons.  Hoy's attorney said he is a gun collector with an intense interest in World War II era machine guns.

Goldsmith sentenced Hoy below the guidelines after discussing the circumstances of the case at length. Goldsmith called it an unusual crime and called Hoy an unusual defendant because he disregarded the law as someone who took an oath to be on the right side of the law. 

Hoy's attorney said he will testify against the suspect if there are charges brought in Cook's murder. Hoy has a written agreement with Genesee County prosecutors calling for a misdemeanor charge and delayed sentence, according to his attorney.

Hoy's brother, Gerald Hoy, is also charged in a federal case. He also worked out a plea deal.  Gerald is scheduled to be sentenced in May. He had faced some of the same gun charges as his brother, but pleaded guilty to one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

Gerald's May indictment was issued after his state probation officer conducted a visit at his Perry area home and smelled marijuana, according to court records.  Officers discovered 17 weapons at his home and a marijuana growing operation, according to court records.

ABC12 erroneously identified Michael Hoy's attorney as Gerald Hoy, in the 6 p.m. video story posted with this online article. The online article correctly identifies him as Gordon Hoy.

 

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