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Court hearings scheduled in Houlton dog killing case

HOULTON, Maine — Two County men charged in connection with the killing of a dog last year are scheduled to appear in court in the next few weeks for separate court hearings.

A dispositional conference will be held on July 16 in Houlton District Court in the case against Kevin G. Cummings, 27, of Houlton, a court clerk said Wednesday. 

Cummings was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals on Nov. 26, 2018.

Brian Vrieze, 27, of Hodgdon was charged with cruelty to animals stemming from the same incident.

Houlton Police Chief Tim DeLuca said that officers responded at about 8:30 p.m. that day to a disturbance call at an apartment complex at 52 School St. Officers investigated the matter and determined that “the incident involved the abuse and death of a dog.” 

Police have not released any additional details about the case or what led up to the dog’s killing. 

A dispositional conference is a courtroom meeting between the prosecutor, defense attorney and the judge. At the conclusion of the conference, the case may be resolved by plea negotiation or the case may proceed to jury trial.

The case against Vrieze is scheduled for a docket call on Sept. 25 in Houlton. During the hearing, the prosecutor will meet with Vrieze’s attorney to schedule a trial or sentencing hearing on the matter.

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