PROVO — A man charged with kidnapping a woman over a drug deal gone bad failed to come to court as his attorney promised he would.

Sione Afu, 43, was expected Thursday morning in 4th District Court, along with his co-defendant, 25-year-old Sifa Pulu.

Pulu appeared and got a preliminary hearing date for Oct. 9, but Afu was nowhere to be seen.

"We expected that the co-defendant would turn himself in," prosecutor John Nielsen told Judge Gary Stott. "But that did not happen in this matter. We're going forward without the co-defendant."

Nielsen said he hadn't talked with Afu's attorney since before the previous hearing, nor had he seen Afu. Thus a $100,000 cash-only warrant remains in force.

Messages left for Afu's attorney Thursday were not returned.

Utah Rep. Chris Cannon was in court two weeks ago to vouch for Pulu, a longtime family friend.

He called Pulu's alleged criminal behavior "out of character" and asked the judge to release Pulu from jail on his own recognizance.

After Stott vowed to hold Cannon financially responsible if Pulu failed to show up for future hearings, Pulu was released from jail without having to post the $10,000 cash or bail bond.

Prosecutors allege that Afu and Pulu picked up a 24-year-old Provo woman on Aug. 2, after drugs she sold them turned out to be bad.

The men allegedly drove the woman through Provo for several hours, pointed a gun to her head and threatened to kill her and hurt her family if she went to police, police said.

When the woman noticed a police officer drive by, she jumped out of the car moving at least 40 miles an hour.

Witnesses scooped her up and drove her to catch up with the officer, who took her to the hospital with minor injuries and interviewed her, police said.

Pulu was arrested the next day after he came to talk to police about the woman's missing cell phone. Police had been given the OK to search his car and found items belonging to the woman inside.


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