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Associated Press, Published July 19 2013

Change of plea hearing set for William Kiefer in ND animal cruelty case

BISMARCK — A change of plea hearing has been set for a North Dakota man accused of mistreating horses and mules.

William Kiefer pleaded not guilty earlier this year to misdemeanor animal cruelty charges in Morton County. He entered the same plea to similar charges in Burleigh County.

KXMB-TV in Bismarck reports that a notice for a change of plea was filed Wednesday. Morton County assistant state's attorney Gabrielle Goter says the hearing is set for Aug. 2.

Kiefer's attorney, Charlie Stock, says his client plans to enter a guilty plea but could still change his mind. Stock declined further comment.

Authorities seized more than 150 animals from Kiefer's properties in the two counties in January after finding nearly 100 dead animals. The seized animals were then adopted out.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.