Two brothers pleaded not guilty to attempted capital murder and kidnapping charges Wednesday.

Michael Phillips, 24, and Tommy Phillips, 30, of Vilonia are currently being held in the county jail on suspicion of kidnapping and attempted capital murder after allegedly holding another man at gunpoint while forcing him to dig his own grave on Jan. 21.

The two pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Faulkner County Circuit Court.

Formal charges against the brothers were filed Tuesday.

The two are set to appear next in circuit court for a pretrial hearing at 9 a.m. April 11.


The Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office responded to what a witness described as a possible kidnapping on Brannon Landing in south Faulkner County near Mayflower on Jan. 21.

The witness said she saw two men force a black male into a vehicle and head toward Highway 365, according to an incident report.

"Deputies learned that a Michael Phillips and Tommy Phillips were suspected on having the kidnapping victim, as well as another man digging their own graves at gunpoint" on Allen Drive, also southeast of Mayflower, FCSO spokesman Adam Bledsoe said.

Tommy fled in the woods before FCSO made it to Allen Drive.

Deputies found a shovel, green chainsaw, black ax and "freshly disturbed dirt" near "the beginnings of a hole in the ground" while searching the area, according to the report.

Michael was arrested on scene and is currently being held on a $1 million bond.

Tommy turned himself in a few days later and is currently being held in lieu of a $2 million bond.