Belchertown mother pleas for release of autistic son from jail - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Belchertown mother pleas for release of autistic son from jail

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Zachary Holmes (Submitted photo) Zachary Holmes (Submitted photo)

A Belchertown mother is continuing the fight to get her 21-year-old autistic son released from jail by writing an impassioned letter to the district attorney's office. 

JoAnn Holmes said she's taking matters into her own hands as her son sits behind bars after allegedly stabbing and strangling her in their home. 

Holmes noted that she sent the email at 4 a.m. Wednesday.  She hopes that her words will resonate with the assistant district attorney, who is pressing these charges against her son. 

"I just wanted a letter to just express, 'Please!  Why are you doing this to my son?  Why is this happening?'" Holmes said.

Holmes said that she often lays awake at night thinking about her baby, whom she calls a "gentle giant" sitting behind bars miles away from home.  She's now standing up for her son and demanding things change. 

"It wasn't anything legal or anything like that.  It was just from the heart," Holmes added.

Early Wednesday morning, Holmes wrote an email to the assistant district attorney, who pressed charges against her autistic son, Zachary, after that alleged incident back in September. 

"All the stuff they're saying about's very hard to hear," Holmes noted.

In this letter, Holmes wrote, "You alone know the truth.  You know that this was a situation between me and my son, and it should have been handled as a family and with his providers."

Holmes goes on to say she or the community doesn't need protection from her son.  She said that he's a sweet, kind-hearted person, who is well-loved by all. 

"If you took the time to get to know Zachary, you would know that his goal in life is to help other people with autism and special needs," Holmes wrote.

Zachary is being held at the Hampshire County jail, but Holmes said that that's not where he should be as the case unfolds. 

"Put him somewhere he's going to get services, and therapists, and things he's not getting," Holmes said.

Holmes couldn't be prouder of how her son is handling the situation and said that she's touched by the support from family, friends, and her community.  She added that she won't stop fighting until her son is home, these charges are dropped, and his name is cleared. 

"I'm going to continue fighting so that no else has to go through what I'm going through or what Zachary is going through," Holmes said.

Western Mass News reached out to the assistant district attorney for a comment.  She declined to make a statement. 

Copyright 2016 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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