02/27/09 — Animal abuse case is continued

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Animal abuse case is continued

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on February 27, 2009 1:46 PM

A man accused of animal abuse and "horrible" conditions for animals kept at his Fremont property had his court date reset for March 26 in Wayne County District Court on Thursday.

Lawton McKenzie, 28, faces two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals and one count of possessing a barred owl carcass, investigators have said.

McKenzie's appearance in court on Thursday was brief, and he did not enter a plea, according to court records.

McKenzie was represented by Lynn Whitted of Fremont.

Ms. Whitted was not immediately available for comment today, her secretary said.

McKenzie, 28, of Old Black Creek Road, has said most of the animals he collected were roadkill that he was preparing for taxidermy.

Investigators said they found "bowls of blood" and a puppy's head in a plastic food storage bag, accusations that McKenzie has since denied.

A total of 26 surviving animals were taken from the property, and Wayne County Animal Control officials said they were malnourished.