Dog show death trial delayed

A trial is scheduled to begin next year for a dog handler accused of leaving four animals in a hot vehicle outside an Iowa dog show, killing three. (KTVO file)

The trial of Illinois man accused of animal cruelty has been delayed.

The bench trial of Craig Eugene was set to begin Thursday at the Wapello County Courthouse.

Eugene faces four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

That trial has now been moved back until January 31.

The delay came at the request of Ottumwa City Attorney Joni Keith.

Keith says two prosecution witnesses were unavailable and that American Kennel Club has yet to respond to a subpoena.

Eugene is accused of leaving four dogs in a sweltering car during the Southeast Iowa Kennel Club dog show in July.

He told police that he left the dogs, three Chihuahuas and a Chinese Crested in a running car.

When he returned, the car had stopped and the dogs were either dead or near dead.

Police say the temperature in the car was near 90 degrees.

Animal Cruelty is a Simple Misdemeanor.

The maximum penalty for each count would be 30 days in jail and a $625 fine.

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