ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. - A mother has been charged with first degree murder and aggravated child endangerment after her 4-year-old son was killed when he ran into the road in front of a dump truck in October.
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The Elizabethton Police Department released the following statement about the charges:
"On Thursday October 11, 2012 at approximately 1:19pm, officers of the Elizabethton Police Department were dispatched to the intersection of Broad Street and Lynn Avenue in reference to a motor vehicle crash involving a pedestrian. It was learned that a dump truck was in the turn lane on Broad Street in order to make a left hand turn onto Lynn Avenue. Two juveniles and an adult female, identified as Tiffani Marie Holston, were attempting to cross Broad Street in the crosswalk area. One of the juveniles ran into the path of the dump truck and was struck as the truck began to turn onto Lynn Avenue. The child, identified as 4-year old Joshua Holston, was transported to Sycamore Shoals Hospital, but later died as a result of his injuries.
An investigation into the incident was conducted by the Elizabethton Specialized Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team. The conclusion of the investigation determined that Tiffani Holston knowingly failed to protect Joshua C. Holston from neglect which resulted in the death of the child. It was also determined that Ms. Holston should have known, upon a reasonable inquiry that neglect of the child would occur which could result in physical injury to the child. The risk was of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary parent or custodian of a child would exercise under all the circumstances. On November 13, 2012, the facts of the case were presented to the Carter County Grand Jury, at which time a true bill was returned for the charges of First Degree Murder and Aggravated Child Endangerment. Holston was taken into custody shortly thereafter and booked into the Carter County Jail. She was arraigned the same day in the Criminal Court of Carter County, and bond was set at $50,000."