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updated: 3/13/2014 2:25 PM

Kenosha man pleads not guilty in death of Lake Villa dog

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  • Martin Keller

      Martin Keller

 
 

A Kenosha man accused in the beating death of a Lake Villa dog pleaded not guilty to charges of animal torture and aggravated animal cruelty in Lake County court Wednesday.

Martin Keller, 37, was indicted in December for hitting the mixed-breed dog, named Dartanian, multiple times on its body on April 2, 2013. The dog died from its injuries, but court documents do not include the date of the animal's death.

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Dartanian belonged to another person who was not involved in the beating, officials said.

Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Steve Scheller said the delay in charges was because Keller is serving prison time for an unrelated charge in Wisconsin, and time was needed to bring him to Illinois for trial.

A June 6 trial date has been set for Keller. He is due back in court March 26.

If found guilty of the most serious animal torture charge, he could be sentenced up to five years in prison.

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