Utah Mormon jailed in Venezuela injured after 10-foot fall, mom says

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  July 5, 2017 at 1:35 PM
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July 5 (UPI) -- The mother of Josh Holt, a 25-year-old Utah native imprisoned in Venezuela, said her son fell up to 10 feet from a bed and could possibly have a concussion.

Holt and his wife Thamara Caleno Candelo were arrested on June 30, 2016, on weapons charges days after they married. Laurie Moon Holt on Monday said her son "had an accident in the prison."

"We pray he's OK. He could have a concussion. Our lawyers have requested medics to come into check him. The prison won't let them in to help him," she wrote in a Facebook post. "He fell about 9 to 10 feet getting off the bunk of three men. Fell to his tail bone then his head hit the ground hard.

"What more can he be put through. Please heavenly father bless and watch over him."

Holt was linked by the Venezuelan government to the death of Omar Jesus Molina Marin, an official with the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the country's ruling party founded by Hugo Chavez and currently run by President Nicolas Maduro. Marin was found dead on April 11, 2016, with multiple bullet wounds.

Venezuela's former interior minister, Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez, said Holt and his new wife had a cache of weapons, strategic maps and computer equipment to carry out terrorist acts. Holt and his family deny the allegations.

In August, Holt wrote a letter in which he said he is accused of being a U.S. spy attempting to destabilize Maduro's socialist government.

"I have been told by 10 or 20 people, prisoners, and guards, that I am here because I am American," Holt wrote. "I have also been told by guards that Americans have no rights here."

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