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Violent felon flees cops before arrest

MASON CITY – A convicted, violent felon ignored commands from police and led them on a foot chase this weekend in downtown Mason City.

The incident took place at about 12:17 AM Sunday, September 17. Mason City police were called to quell a dispute in front of a bar north of State Street and Federal Avenue in the downtown area. Mason City police say that a male subject ran upon the officers’ arrival.   A chase ensued and a suspect, 33-year-old Barry Jerome Holden, Jr. of Mason City was captured and taken into custody near State Street and Adams Avenue. Holden was arrested on a charge of interference with official acts.

Holden was on the state’s sex offender registry, but appears to have been removed after his guilty plea and sentence in a felony sexual abuse case was overturned by the Iowa Court of Appeals. On June 4, 2014, Floyd county prosecutors charged Holden with burglary in the first degree, sexual abuse in the third degree, and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. On November 17, 2015, Holden, in conjunction with a plea agreement, pled guilty to one count of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor. The other charges were dismissed in the plea deal and he appeared on the state’s sex offender registry.

However, Holden later claimed he was confused by the plea deal and at sentencing. He claimed in an appeal his plea was not knowing and intelligent, there was no factual basis for his plea, and his counsel was ineffective.

The Iowa Court of Appeals bought Holden’s claims and found that his counsel was ineffective, and vacated his plea and sentence and remanded for further proceedings. Court records now show all the charges have been dismissed.

In April of 2016, Holden was charged by Mason City police with domestic abuse involving strangulation. Later, a jury acquitted him. Holden faced felony drug and child endangerment charges in Chickasaw county in 2009, but those were all dismissed. He was guilty of felony willful injury in Floyd county in 2014 and sent to an Iowa prison, where he served several months of a 5-year term.

Holden, Barry Jerome
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