A Leavenworth man has pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony animal cruelty.

A Leavenworth man has pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony animal cruelty.

The not guilty plea was entered Wednesday during an arraignment for Lemuel D. Hunter Jr.

Hunter, 58, is charged in Leavenworth County District Court with felony animal cruelty for allegedly abusing a dog Feb. 19 in Leavenworth. He is accused of burning the dog with a propane torch.

After the not guilty plea was entered Wednesday, District Judge Gunnar Sundby scheduled a pretrial conference for July 11. A trial date may be scheduled at that time.

Sundby said the pretrial conference will be presided over by a different judge, District Judge Michael Gibbens. Sundby plans to retire from his position as district judge next month.

Wednesday’s arraignment came after Hunter waived the remainder of a preliminary hearing earlier this month.

His preliminary hearing began March 28. But the hearing was halted when he made an outburst.

At that time, Sundby found Hunter to be in contempt of court, and the defendant was taken into custody.

Hunter was released back on bond April 6 after he wrote an apology to the judge and made commitments regarding his behavior.

He waived the remainder of the preliminary hearing May 2.

He remains free on bond.

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