The father of an Ashland boy who allegedly murdered his mother and attacked his sister with a kitchen knife in Ashland as a 12-year-old last year is grateful that his son will remain in Oregon’s juvenile justice system.
In a statement issued today, Jim Holmes of Ashland said the juvenile system is “by far the best path” for Ezekiel “Zeke” Holmes, as well as “the right path to serve justice for my dead wife Pam Wolosz and my traumatized daughter Lydia Holmes.
The elder Holmes said his son will admit to murdering Wolosz and attacking Lydia Holmes and will soon “transition to the Oregon Youth Authority, which will be a crucial part of Zeke growing into a young man who can lead a safe, productive, rich life,” the statement reads.
“While it’s still awful in nature,” the plea “is the best possible outcome for Zeke and my family” and that he is “confident that Lydia will be able to have a safe life without risk of another attack from her brother,” according to the statement.
On the morning of Jan. 10, 2017, Zeke Holmes allegedly used a kitchen knife to kill Wolosz and wound his sister, who was a 16-year-old Ashland High School student at the time, at the family home on the 900 block of Morton Street. Jim Holmes was out of town and Wolosz’s mother, Joanne, was home and not injured, according to reports.
Zeke Holmes was referred to juvenile authorities on charges of murder, attempted murder and first-degree assault, and his case has remained in juvenile court the entire time.
Oregon’s Measure 11 statute allows children younger than 15 who are charged with serious crimes such as murder the possibility of being adjudicated in adult court.
Murder convictions in adult court carry a mandatory 25-year minimum sentence. If sentenced in juvenile court for murder, Holmes would be released from OYA at age 25.
In the statement, Jim Holmes thanks his son’s attorneys and mental-health experts, prosecutors, his probation officers involved in the case as well as the communities of Medford and Ashland. Holmes also thanks healthcare providers “who are helping my daughter return to a life with less physical and mental pain.”
Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.