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Miss Harper case suspect ordered jailed until sentencing

Miss Harper, a 7-month-old pit bull who had

Miss Harper, a 7-month-old pit bull who had its ears and hind right leg cut off in an act of animal cruelty, at a Jan. 31, 2014, news conference in Huntington. Credit: Brittany Wait

A man who twice failed to show up for sentencing after pleading guilty in an animal cruelty case was ordered Wednesday to remain in jail until he is sentenced.

Lee Hughes, 42, pleaded guilty in the case of Miss Harper, a dog whose leg and ears were cut off by a veterinary office worker.

State Supreme Court Justice Angelo Delligatti in Mineola made the ruling Wednesday after Hughes was escorted into his courtroom by detectives with the Nassau County SPCA.

Hughes’ attorney, Eliot Bloom of Winston Park, said Wednesday his client surrendered and would be sentenced Aug. 10.

Hughes was set to get 6 months in jail on three animal cruelty felonies on June 20, but that morning he went to a hospital and sent a doctor’s note to the judge, Bloom said at the time.

Hughes was next scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, but missed court because he was stuck in traffic, Bloom said.

Hughes, whose last known address was Westbury, and his estranged wife, Shawanna Hughes of Oyster Bay, pleaded guilty in March to two counts of unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine and one of aggravated animal cruelty.

In 2013, the puppy, a pit bull mix, was taken to a veterinary office worker, Reginald Smith, instead of a licensed veterinarian.

Smith also pleaded guilty in the case, but got 3 years of conditional discharge and no jail time.

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