A hearing in a Leavenworth felony animal cruelty case was continued Wednesday after the defendant did not appear in court.

A hearing in a Leavenworth felony animal cruelty case was continued Wednesday after the defendant did not appear in court.

If Lemuel D. Hunter Jr. fails to show up for court Friday, a warrant may be issued for his arrest, according to District Judge Michael Gibbens.

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

Hunter, who is free on bond, did not appear for an 11 a.m. hearing Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court. And his attorney, Geoffrey Sonntag, also initially was not present for the hearing.

Assistant County Attorney Michael Jones said Wednesday’s hearing had been scheduled as a pretrial conference, and he thought a trial date would be selected during the hearing.

Gibbens rescheduled the hearing for later in the day to see if the defendant and his attorney showed up.

Jones left the courtroom after the hearing was rescheduled.

Gibbens later informed Jones that Sonntag had arrived about five minutes after Jones left the courtroom.

Gibbens said he continued the case until Friday. He said Sonntag will have his client in court Friday or a bench warrant will be issued.

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