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Article published Jun 20, 2014
Two people in Sequim fake kidnapping plead not guilty to disorderly conduct; third has hearing postponed
By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES –– Two of the three phony kidnappers charged with disorderly conduct for their April 12 hoax in Sequim's Carrie Blake Park pleaded not guilty, while an arraignment for the third was postponed for a week.

Jason Holden, 25, and a relative, Shellie Baskins, 34, were arraigned in Clallam County District Court on Thursday. A trial date has not been set.

Jesse Holden, 25, cousin of Jason Holden, also was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, but the hearing was postponed until next Thursday, June 26.

The postponement was to allow him to get a new attorney, since the one representing him Thursday is representing another party in another case in which Jesse Holden is accused.

Fake kidnapping

The trio generated national controversy when the Holden cousins plucked Baskins' son from a bench in the park while wearing ski masks.

They then put the boy in a van and sped off while angered parents at the park chased after them.

They said after the video appeared on international news outlets that they were trying to make a movie to raise awareness about kidnapping.

The Holdens apologized on national television, saying their intention was to raise awareness and not to perform a prank.

City Attorney Craig Ritchie initially said the trio would not face charges, saying, “Scaring the hell out of people is not a crime,” but then reversed field and filed charges in District Court on May 30.

The trio were set to be arraigned last week, but that was delayed after District Judge Rick Porter found the city's crime of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor, did not specify a maximum penalty.

Rules on penalty

Porter ruled Thursday in favor of the city code for misdemeanors in general, which lays out a maximum penalty of up to 364 days in jail or a $5,000 fine.

State laws say misdemeanor crimes are punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Jesse Holden, meanwhile, has been summoned to Superior Court this morning, where he is expected to be arraigned on felony charges of burglary and first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

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