Man indicted on arson counts

A man has been indicted on arson charges in connection with a fire last month that damaged two rental units at a Wailuku residence.

Kealiiwahamana Neula, 33, pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree arson during his arraignment Friday in 2nd Circuit Court.

The fire was reported the afternoon of Nov. 6 at the house on Holowai Place. Police said Neula had been staying with his sister in one rental unit. Her family and tenants of the other rental unit were displaced by the fire.

A Feb. 10 trial is set for Neula, who was being held in lieu of $200,000 bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center. He was ordered to have no contact with the homeowner and tenants if released.

A Maui County grand jury returned the indictment against Neula on Nov. 22.

At a preliminary hearing Nov. 13, Wailuku District Judge Blaine Kobayashi dismissed the charges, saying testimony about the damages to the residence didn’t provide sufficient evidence to support the charges.


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