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Holby pleads not guilty, settlement hearing scheduled

Joshua Holby

The first of three men charged in the kidnapping of 15-year-old Jasmine Block has pleaded not guilty.

Joshua Lee Holby, 31, pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and false imprisonment during a hearing Thursday, Jan. 11, at the Douglas County Courthouse.

Rather than a jury trial, Holby's representation requested a settlement conference, which has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, April 19.

"I am happy with how it went today," said Sarah Block, Jasmine's mother. "We want to move forward and it will be much easier when all this court process is over with."

While members of Holby's family were present, they declined to comment. However, Block wanted to express that she holds no anger toward them.

"I just want all of their families know that I understand they are all going through a lot as well and I have no hard feeling or anything against any of them," Block said.

Jasmine Block gained national attention after police say she escaped from three men after being held captive for nearly a month. She disappeared from her Alexandria home in August.

The other two men charged in the case have upcoming court dates at which they are also expected to enter pleas. Steven Powers appears in court Thursday, Feb. 15, while Thomas Barker is scheduled to appear Thursday, March 8.

Beth Leipholtz

Beth is a reporter at the Echo Press. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015 with a degree in Communication and Hispanic Studies. Journalism has always been her passion, but she also enjoys blogging and graphic design. In her spare time, she's most likely at Crossfit or at home with her boyfriend and three dogs.

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