U.S. officials turned away from Venezuela prison where Utah man is held, mom says

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If Laurie Moon Holt wasn’t frustrated enough that the Venezuelan judge in her son Joshua’s case was a no-show at a critical hearing, now U.S. embassy staff were not allowed into the prison where he's being held to see him on Friday as had been arranged.

Holt and his Venezuelan wife, Thamara Caleño Candelo, whom he wed just five days before his arrest, have been held in a Caracas prison since June 30 on weapon charges.

Holt’s hearing was set to happen Thursday. It was expected to deliver a critical decision, to either try the 24-year-old or potentially drop all the charges.

On Friday, Holt’s mother, Laurie, posted a note her Facebook page that the hearing has been officially rescheduled for Oct. 11.

His attorney, Jeannette Prieto, told Fox News Latino she is confident Josh will be released at the next hearing.

“The accusation against him is not backed by enough evidence,” Prieto said. “It’s only based on a statement by Sebin [the national intelligence agency] personnel, while we have a number of witnesses with a different version from that of the intelligence agents.”

Holt’s health has been deteriorating, and, his lawyer said, he’s had three requests to be transferred to a medical facility which have been been approved by a judge all denied by Sebin.

The visit by American embassy personnel was an effort by the family to check on Holt’s health.

On Sept. 8., Moon Holt made a plea to President Nicolás Maduro at a Salt Lake City press conference appealing him as a parent to allow her son to get the care he needs.

Holt met his wife Caleño Candelo, who has two small children from a previous marriage, through the website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He travelled to Caracas to meet her, and the two got married. Only days after their nuptials and honeymoon, they were arrested.

According to local reports, on the night of June 30, police found weapons in the house where the couple was living — a grenade, an AK-47 rifle and an M4 assault rifle.

Holt and his wife insist the weapons were planted.

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