Zachary Holmes appears in court for assaulting his mother - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Zachary Holmes appears in court for assaulting his mother

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

The autistic man accused of strangling and stabbing his mother inside of their Belchertown home appeared in court today.

21 year-old Zachary Holmes allegedly attacked his mother last November when asked to clean up after the dog, and today several new court dates were set.

Joann Holmes, Zachary’s mother, said her son has been incredibly strong throughout this entire process and she's reached out to state leaders for help.

"I'm very very proud of him for making it through this!" Joann said.

Zachary Holmes sat facing the judge with his hands and feet bound by handcuffs and shackles.

He listened intently while sneaking quick glances at his mother as his lawyer and the prosecution discussed new dates for his case.

"Just seeing this coming to an end and to hear we may be able to resolve this out of court, this is wonderful news," said Joann.

Joann has never pressed charges against her autistic son and doesn't believe he should be behind bars, but says she's so proud of how well he's handling the situation.

“Here he is, going through what he's going through and all he's thinking about is wanting to help other people," she said.

A number of court dates including a trial month were set on Tuesday afternoon for May and June.

In the meantime, Joann says she hasn't stopped fighting and is looking to local and state leaders for help.

"I went on autism speaks website and found 213 state leaders and I wrote a 4 page letter and mailed it to every one of them," said Joann.

Zachary has also stayed busy while at the Hampshire County Jail.

When he's not watching 'Thomas the Tank Engine' he's writing a book and a cookbook which he hopes to one day publish.

All proceeds would benefit those with autism.

Zachary Holmes is due back in court on May 23.

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