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A judge has ordered that an autistic man charged with stabbing his mother should be held without bail, despite his mother pleading for his release and for all charges to be dropped.

Belchertown resident Zachary Holmes, 21, is charged with repeatedly stabbing his mother in the abdomen, hand, chin and back over an argument about cleaning up after a dog, MassLive reported. The attack allegedly took place in front of Holmes’ 12-year-old brother.

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Now, Joann Holmes, the accused’s mother, has pleaded for her son’s release, saying he suffered a “psychotic break” and will not get proper treatment in jail, WCVB added.


Judge Mary-Lou Rup disagreed, ruling on Monday that Holmes should remain in jail, according to MassLive. Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jennifer Suhl said psychological evaluations showed Holmes’ anger toward his mother, not his disability, was the reason for the September attack.

Since his arrest, Holmes has been held at the Hampshire County Jail and also at Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, MassLive stated.

After Monday’s hearing, Joann Holmes told WCVB that she feels like her “heart got ripped out.”

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Holmes has pleaded not guiltyto charges of armed assault to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, strangulation or suffocation and assault and battery on a family or household member, according to MassLive.

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