February 5, 1995 in Nation/World

Autistic Teen Won’t Face Trial In Baby’s Death

Associated Press
 

A murder charge against an autistic teenager was dismissed Friday after psychiatrists found him unfit to stand trial for throwing his 5-month-old nephew out a window.

Michael Holmes, an 18-year-old with the mind of a 2-year-old, will live in a one-story house with his brother and attend a special school under state supervision.

Holmes was arrested for hurling the baby, Stanley, from a window of the family’s fifth-floor apartment on Dec. 17, when an uncle who had been watching the pair went to answer the phone.

District Attorney Robert Morgenthau asked for dismissal of the charges after psychiatrists found Holmes “unable to form an intent or appreciate his actions.”

As he entered the courtroom Friday, Holmes saw his mother and rushed toward her, arms outstretched, grimacing and groaning loudly. Sally Holmes embraced her son while trying to calm him.

“Michael literally doesn’t know what happened” to the nephew he killed, said the Holmes’ family lawyer, Nicholas Scoppetta.

Assistant District Attorney Georges Lederman told the judge that, “Everybody is doing everything possible to make sure that such a tragedy never happens again.”

Over the years, Holmes had developed a habit of tossing things out the window: a Walkman, a pot, a VCR. But he’d never harmed anyone.

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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