Former Vermont GOP candidate claims 2018 Democratic opponent, others, behind his legal woes

A 2018  Republican candidate for the Vermont House has taken an unusual step in a hunting-related lawsuit brought against him by the state — he wants the court to deny the state’s recent motion to dismiss the case.

Kevin Hoyt, 49, is known to Vermont hunting enthusiasts as a Gen7 Outdoors TV Channel personality, a firearm rights advocate, and a past state legislative candidate. In April, however, he was charged with a hunting violation and with impeding a game warden.

Kevin Hoyt

Kevin Hoyt, 49, of Bennington is known to Vermont hunting enthusiasts as a Gen7 Outdoors TV Channel personality, a firearm rights advocate, and a state legislative candidate.

An affidavit filed by the Fish and Wildlife Department in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division claims the hunter took one deer more than the state’s three-deer limit. Hoyt claims he shot one deer on Nov. 13, 2018, but it got away, and he didn’t find it until February 2019.

In February, a photograph posted to Hoyt’s Facebook page of the deer head and antlers triggered a run-in with Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Warden Travis Buttle at the hunter’s Bennington residence.

The charges against Hoyt were dismissed Friday by the State’s Attorney’s Office, but on Monday Hoyt asked a district court judge to deny the state’s motion to dismiss the charges against him and to proceed to trial. The hunter said the charges were politically motivated and that a trial is necessary to clear his name.

According to Hoyt’s Motion to Deny the State’s Motion to dismiss, the entire case is an unfair smear against him launched at the urging of state Rep. Chris Bates, D-Bennington, his opponent in the 2018 election.

“The Defendant is now in a dangerous position being stalked, followed, harassed, threatened and the abuses by the state continue and intensify. It was revealed in Discovery that the State’s main witness and person that started this all, Representative Chris Bates from the Bennington 2-1 district, is actually a wanted fugitive from the State of Illinois,” Hoyt wrote in the filing with the court.

In a video posted on his Facebook page, Hoyt said “no one will arrest him [Bates] because he is a Democrat politician.”

On Friday, Seven Days reported that the Bennington representative has an outstanding arrest warrant in Illinois over a failure to appear in court and pay fees related to a third DUI, a felony offense.

Bates said late last week he has contacted Vermont law enforcement officials and was told “there are no plans by authorities here to initiate any court or law enforcement action relating to the satisfaction of these post-resolution terms and conditions,” the Bennington Banner reported.

The revelations about Bates caused the Bennington representative to issue a public statement Friday about his prior legal issues in Illinois. He said “certain indiscretions” in his past stemmed from events mostly in his late teens and 20s, but also that he “learned in the last week that [he] did not entirely satisfy all of the terms and conditions attending to the resolution of one of these Illinois incidents.”

The legislator also denied there were arrest or extradition warrants against him, and said Vermont is “a place of great compassion and forgiveness.”

In his motion against the state’s move to dismiss the case, Hoyt outlined a series of reasons why he wants legal action to continue:

The timing of the state’s motion (to dismiss the case against the defendant) is disturbing at best and the defendant does not believe this was a just decision. The decision as it stands further damages the defendant and leaves him with additional real danger. The defendant made the claim that this was about political collusion and targeting from his first appearance at the arraignment for this case. Now that the defendant can prove that statement and has obtained the evidence of criminal behavior by the state and several politicians and high powered officials, he believes it to be unfair to just dismiss this case without prejudice and without accountability or at least exposure for the real criminals.

Beyond the basics of the hunting-violation charge, Hoyt has alleged that certain Vermont officials began targeting him after the election. At an earlier arraignment, he told the court that the case was not about a dead deer head or impeding a game warden. “Instead (it) was direct targeting to destroy conservative opponents,” he said.

Hoyt also alleges that the office of Bennington County State’s Attorney Erica Marthage “falsified or tampered with and manipulated” items relating to the state’s case against him. Marthage’s official website notes that, as a rule, the state’s attorney’s office “hold(s) individuals accountable but avoid(s) the long term stigma associated with a permanent criminal conviction.”

Hoyt believes he is being harassed by the state and now places Bates at the center of it all.

“Rep. Chris Bates … is actually a wanted fugitive from the state of Illinois. The extensive felony criminal record, outstanding and extraditable warrant and reward for Mr. Bates was ignored by the state as they tried to work with this wanted criminal to destroy the defendant (me),” Hoyt wrote in his motion to the court.

He added that Bates’ criminal record “shows a long history of a violent and dangerous individual with multiple battery charges, multiple aggravated and simple assaults, resisting, eluding and fleeing authorities and violence against police.”

Members of Vermont Gun Owners have supported Hoyt during his ordeal, and some postings now call for Bates’ dismissal from state office.

On the deer charge, Hoyt claims there is no code violation involved in picking up a deer carcass at any time of year.

Lou Varricchio is a freelance reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at

Image courtesy of Kevin Hoyt

14 thoughts on “Former Vermont GOP candidate claims 2018 Democratic opponent, others, behind his legal woes

  1. If someone looked into the background of Zuckerberg and Mitzi Johnson and other legislators out of staters. you would find our a lot of things. mostly we have criminals in our Vt Government. Sanders is one of them too along with his bank fraud wife. !!! To think that these criminals are making laws in Vt. is horrible. We need to “TAKE BACK VERMONT” from these crooked out of staters.

  2. Is Bates yet another astro turf plant? Is he from Chicago by chance? Was he an organizer? We’ve got a serious infestation of invasive species hell bent on transforming us to Alinsky’s nirvana…..

    • While we do have a serious infestation of invasive species hell bent on transforming Vermont. let us not forget that Vermonters are doing the voting.and voting them in. It’s your friends, your neighbors….. the infiltrators can’t get anywhere without the tacit approval of Vermonters. Vermonters need to pull their collective head out of their collective rear …. and soon.

      • Back in 2010 I was told by Attorney Peter Langrock that they don’t prosecute withe collar crime here in Vermont. I went down to the Addison Independent and repeated what he said. The story was never printed. we not only don’t have prosecution of crime we have ‘fake news.

        The Eb-5 perpetrators have had immunity for 3 years until a newly appointed US District Attorney, Christina Nolan, appointed by President Trump and Governor Scott finally has brought them to Court. Up until this time State Attorney General TJ Donovan has refused to release 1.5 million pages of documents concerning their crimes and the associated corruption by government officials.

  3. If Illinois is really offering a reward along with the warrant, one would think the VT Gummint would jump on yet another source of revenue.
    Oops! Guess not.

  4. Good for you Kevin for standing up for your Rights. Don’t give up. The corruption in this one very powerful party state denies the rest of us our Constitutional Rights if needed. I have been working on my book, The Green Mountain Mafia, for seven years and soon hope to have it published. It describes my experience with our corrupt judicial system.

    • Hi John, I would be happy to share our experiences with Vermonts big public education monopoly. The corruption is incredible. Hopefully your book shines some light on some of these things.

    • What a great title, I’ve always thought the mafia was kinder and more fair, many of those comments were deleted by Vermont Digger. We are one of the most corrupt states in the union, our D- in ethics, one of the lowest grades gives good evidence.

      Then our latest EB-5 sweep under the rug……

      I can add stories about how my Dad was not allowed to do business through his pharmacy, despite providing prescriptions at lower prices than the connected big box stores. Yep… the lead independent, suddenly was able to get authorized by the state, leaving all the other independents having to sell to big pharma.

      You should write it in volumes…..

      Local zoning…my word, you’re not going to be able to write fast enough.

      • Thanks Neil. Most people have no idea about the corruption and favoritism in this state. If they do, they are beaten down until they feel helpless. In most cases this is also true because there is no venue where grievances can be justly heard. The news media, including Vt. Digger, knows where its bread is buttered and will remain silent before ruffling feathers on the wrong bird.

  5. The criminal Bates from Ill. must be using the Magic Kneegreauxs (Obola the kneyan klown) methodology for climbing the political ladder. Slime and lie about your opponent enough before the vote and
    you will win the vote. Don’t matter if it’s not a lie only that you spew it enough for all to hear. We damn
    sure don’t need a flatlander from Ill passing himself off as a sportsman who just wants to gun grab

  6. ‘Nobody is above the law’, said both Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders regarding both the Attorney General and the Mueller probe. Apparently that only applies to conservatives.

    Rep. Bates should be removed from office and delivered to Illinois.

  7. Best of luck Kevin, looks like you are helping the Donald drain some of the democrats under the golden dome in Montpeculiar, hope something positive comes out of this, keep fighting for your rights

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