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Charges dismissed in alleged robbery in Lahaina

The Maui News

WAILUKU — Citing inconsistencies in the alleged victim’s testimony, a judge dismissed charges against a man who was arrested for allegedly robbing another man of his backpack at Banyan Tree Park in Lahaina.

Brodin Carter, 25, of Kahului was released from jail after the ruling at a preliminary hearing June 3 in Lahaina District Court, convening in Wailuku.

“Frankly, the testimony of the alleged victim in this case is suspect at best and not very credible,” Judge Blaine Kobayashi said. “There were multiple inconsistencies in his testimony.”

Austin King testified he was with Carter and others when they went to a bar in Lahaina town but found it closed in the early morning of May 7. King said he was walking to the nearby Banyan Tree Park when “out of nowhere” he was hit in the face by Carter, who with another man took King’s bag.

He said his bag contained “sentimental items” as well as his wallet, speaker, a couple of pairs of expensive sunglasses and clothing he valued at about $2,000.

He said he lost consciousness before getting up and calling police.

Defense attorney Brandon Segal asked King if it was true that he wasn’t cooperative with police officers when they arrived at the park.

“I was trying to be, but they weren’t being very cooperative with me,” King said. “I guess that’s because I was being belligerent, but I was upset.”

Segal asked King if he had identified multiple people, including some walking by or driving by in cars, as the ones who assaulted him.

“Probably,” King said.

He acknowledged that when he regained consciousness, Carter was trying to give back a hat to King.

King said he had injuries to his lip and nose that required stitches after being hit.

Carter wasn’t arrested that night.

Police later received information from a tourist who met a man, later identified as Carter, who bragged about beating up another man, said Detective Jonathan Kaneshiro.

He said officers who arrived at the park that night observed King to be intoxicated, although King testified he drank only two mai tais and a beer, starting in the afternoon.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say I was 100 percent sober, but I was not blackout drunk,” King said.

Under cross-examination by Segal, Kaneshiro testified that reports from officers who arrived at the park at 1:25 a.m. said King left the scene. He returned nine minutes later, “still agitated” and yelling profanities, according to the reports.

Kaneshiro said reports indicated Carter was cooperative and didn’t have King’s backpack when police arrived.

Charges of second-degree robbery, second-degree theft and theft of a credit card against Carter were dismissed.

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