July 1 trials for two in robbery, assault

WAILUKU – Trials were set for July 1 for two men charged in the robbery and beating of a Honokowai man who was punched, kicked and hit with aluminum baseball bats before being doused with gasoline last month.

During separate arraignments Thursday in 2nd Circuit Court, Brok Carlton, 39, of Kihei and Noah Thomas-Francis, 34, of Pukalani pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, first-degree robbery and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

Carlton is also charged with second-degree assault in the attack that occurred at about 9:15 p.m. March 21 on the second floor of the Maui Sands complex on Lower Honoapiilani Road.

Carlton and Thomas-Francis were identified as being among four men who assaulted Andy Burkhart outside his apartment. He reported that attempts were made to zip-tie his hands and feet before the gasoline was poured over him.

His attackers fled as neighbors yelled at them to stop and police sirens could be heard in the distance, Burkhart testified during a preliminary hearing for Thomas-Francis. Carlton took Burkhart’s cellphone and car keys before driving away in Burkhart’s 2002 white BMW X5 with Thomas-Francis in the passenger seat.

Police later found the car at a beach access in Honokowai.

Both Carlton and Thomas-Francis were ordered to have no contact with Burkhart and to comply with any temporary restraining orders filed against them. Both defendants also were ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs and not to go within 100 yards of Burkhart’s residence.

Carlton was released after posting bail.

Thomas-Francis is being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center in lieu of $175,000 bail pending a bail hearing Wednesday.