SIOUX CITY -- A Sioux City man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to killing a woman in a Sioux City hotel room and setting it on fire.
Public defender Billy Oyadare filed Jordan Henry's written plea to first-degree murder and first-degree arson in Woodbury County District Court. Henry's trial was set for July 9.
Henry, 29, of Sioux City, is accused of the Jan. 24 death of Elizabeth Bockholt. The 40-year-old Hinton, Iowa, woman's body was found in a burned room at the Wingate by Wyndham, 4716 Southern Hills Drive. An autopsy report says she was strangled.
According to court documents, Bockholt and Henry had a romantic relationship before Henry was sentenced to prison in March 2017, and she voluntarily met him at the hotel on the night she died. Henry, who was released on parole on Jan. 16, is accused of strangling Bockholt, then removing a smoke alarm and setting the room on fire. Her body was found by firefighters and police officers responding to the fire.
Henry was identified on surveillance video and by witnesses who saw him leaving the scene just after the fire. He was arrested hours later about half a mile away.
If found guilty of first-degree murder, Henry would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. First-degree arson carries a 25-year prison sentence. He remains in the Woodbury County Jail on a $502,000 bond.