There is still much we do not know about the horrible events of Jan. 10, 2017, when Ezekiel Holmes, then 12, fatally stabbed his mother and badly injured his sister in the family’s Ashland home. What we do know is that it appears the justice system worked in the best interest of Ezekiel, his father and his sister.
Ezekiel pleaded guilty Monday in Jackson County juvenile court to murder, attempted murder and first-degree assault, answering politely in the affirmative when the judge asked if he had committed the criminal acts. He will be sentenced Oct. 15.
At that point, principal figures in the case, including the prosecuting attorney, the defense attorney and Ezekiel’s father, Jim Holmes, will be able to discuss more details of what led up to the attacks. But at this point, it appears prosecutors and the judge in the case decided that Ezekiel Holmes should stay in the juvenile justice system rather than adult court because he lacked the sophistication and maturity to understand the nature of what he had done.
That means he won’t face the mandatory minimum 25-year prison sentence that follows a murder conviction in adult court. Instead, he likely will remain in juvenile custody until he is 25 — a little over 10 years from now.
Jim Holmes expressed gratitude that his son will remain in the juvenile system, and thanked the community for the support shown the family — a sentiment we share. We hope Ezekiel gets whatever help he needs to face his future.