Friday’s court appearance for Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir was canceled after his attorney entered a plea of not guilty to the misdemeanor charge of mistreatment of a confined person.
In a journal entry, Wichita attorney Jess W. Hoeme said Bellendir waived his right to a first appearance, which had been scheduled for Dec. 8, and entered the not guilty plea.
Magistrate Judge Verle Willey has scheduled a pretrial meeting for the case at 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Room 306 of the Barton County Courthouse.
The charge filed by Barton County Special Prosecutor William R. Halvorsen on Nov. 1 alleges that on or about Aug. 10, Nathan B. Manley was detained in handcuffs by Bellendir, who spoke to him in a “vulgar, rude and/or angry manner” and struck him on the side of the head.
Halvorsen is the Chase County Attorney and agreed to serve as special prosecutor.
Manley, 42, was booked into the Barton County Jail on Aug. 10 on a probation violation charge.
The sheriff was issued a summons at the end of October following an investigation by Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents. He later issued a statement noting he was still on the job and planned to plead not guilty if the case goes to court.
The Kansas Department of Corrections website shows Manley was convicted last July of a burglary of a building not used as a dwelling, committed on Aug. 24, 2016, in Barton County. He also has previous drug and burglary convictions in Barton County which are no longer active.