According to The New Zealand Herald, AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd was absent from Tauranga District Court Tuesday morning (December 2), where he was to appear to face charges of threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis. A not guilty plea to the charges was entered by his lawyer.
Judge Tom Ingram said the matter would likely be heard at a judge-alone trial (which means no jury will be present) next year.
A case review for Rudd will be held at the same court on February 10.
A New Zealand High Court judge briefly issued an arrest warrant for Rudd on November 26 when the AC/DC drummer failed to show up on time for his court appearance to address the charges against him. Rudd was scheduled to appear in court at 9:00 a.m. but arrived several minutes late. Rudd did not enter a plea and had his bodyguard give him a piggyback ride to his car after the hearing was over. Rudd then backed up the vehicle into the path of an oncoming truck, almost causing an accident.
Although Rudd played on AC/DC's new album, "Rock Or Bust", his status with the band is in question after he was arrested last month on charges of attempting to arrange a murder, threatening to kill and possession of meth and marijuana.
The murder-for-hire charge was dropped quickly but Rudd still faces several years in prison if convicted of the others.
The 60-year-old drummer was alleged to have tried to hire a hitman to kill two men in late September.