VISTA (CNS) - A handyman who punched an Oceanside furniture salesman in the head during an argument at a bar, resulting in the 53-year-old victim's death two days later, was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in state prison.
Bruce Erwin Hamil, 36, pleaded guilty last month to assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury in the Sept. 28, 2010, death of Willie Hoyle. At an earlier hearing, a judge determined there was insufficient evidence for Hamil to stand trial on a murder charge.
The stipulated sentence was handed down by Vista Judge K. Michael Kirkman.
Hoyle was knocked unconscious at Hosie's Pacific Pub in Oceanside the evening of Sept. 26, 2010. A single punch ruptured an artery in his brain, prosecutor Jodi Breton said, and he remained on life support for two days before dying.
Oceanside police said the punch was thrown in the bar following an argument. The exact nature of the argument was unclear, though it apparently started after Hoyle handed Hamil's girlfriend a cigarette.
Hamil fled the scene, but was later arrested.
Hamil was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in 1998 for hitting and injuring another man, Breton said. In that case, Hamil was sentenced to six months in jail.
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