Patrick Holland, 14, says his father stole away the most important part of his life on the night he murdered his mother. Now the boy wants to sever every last tie with his jailed dad.
Holland says he thinks every day about losing his mother, Elizabeth Holland. And he says he wants nothing to do with the man who robbed him of the person he loved most in the world.
"There's nobody else like her in the world," said Holland of his later mother. "She would help me in anything. She'd give her life for me," he said on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.
Holland says he was sure the Massachusetts court system would approve of his petition to sever legal ties with his father, who is now serving a life sentence for Elizabeth Holland's murder.
But the teenager was surprised by a Quincy, Mass., judge's recent decision to dismiss the petition.
Norfolk Probate and Family Court Judge Robert Langlois said the court dismissed the termination petition because he says Holland and his legal guardians, Rita and Ronald Lazisky, must go to court in New Hampshire, where they now live.
The Laziskys, best friends of Holland's mother, filed the petition more than a year ago. And Ronald Lazisky said they were initially informed the case would have to go through the Massachusetts' system. Lazisky says they've already lost $6,000 in legal fees over the error.
Holland was just 8 years old when he found his mother's bludgeoned body in her bed on the morning of Oct. 13, 1998.
His father, Daniel Holland, had broken into his estranged wife's Quincy, Mass., home the night before. He shot her with a .22-caliber rifle before he bludgeoned her with the gun until it splintered.
Elizabeth Holland, 31, an operating room technician at a Boston hospital, had filed formal complaints with police over several incidents of abuse at the hands of her husband in the years before she was murdered. She and Daniel Holland, a former phone company worker, were in the middle of divorce proceedings when she was killed. There was a legal restraining order against him at the time of her murder.
The boy said he filed the petition after his father, who is serving a life sentence for the murder, requested information about the boy's performance in school, sports and counseling.
"He has a say in what college I go to, or if I have an operation, what kind of operation," Holland said.
The boy said he believes his father lost his right to know about his life when he robbed his own mother of the same chance. He adds he won't give up his legal fight until his father loses all legal ties to him.