By Nathan Baker
Tiffani Holston wept in her seat behind the defense table as witness statements from the day her 4-year-old son was killed were read aloud into the court record.
Assistant District Public Defender Melanie Sellers asked Elizabethton police officer Douglas Combs, the lead investigator into the Oct. 11 incident, to read the statements as part of her challenge to the charges of first-degree murder and aggravated child neglect lodged against Holston.
“When the dump truck started to pull out, the mother made a grab for the boy and missed,” Combs read from a witness statement taken two days after the boy was struck and killed by a truck. “The left front bumper hit the child and knocked him down, then I saw the front and both sets of back wheels run over the child.”
Sellers asked Criminal Court Judge Robert Cupp to dismiss the charges, saying the prosecution did not properly demonstrate the “knowing behavior” required for an aggravated child neglect charge and did not properly inform her client of the charges in the grand jury presentment.