November 13th , 2012 13:18 pm 19 Comments

Mother faces first-degree murder charge


Tiffani Holston, the mother of a 4-year-old killed Oct. 11 when he was struck by a dump truck while crossing the street, has been indicted by the Carter County grand jury on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated child neglect.

Joshua Holston died of injuries after he was struck by the dump truck driven by Terry Kyte of Bristol. The boy was with his mother and another child at the intersection of Broad Street and Lynn Avenue.

Firefighters, emergency responders and bystanders all made efforts to save the life of the boy, but he was pronounced dead at Sycamore Shoals Hospital.

In an interview with the Elizabethton STAR published Oct 14, Tiffani Holston said, “He didn’t get to grow up. He didn’t even get to start school or play T-ball.”

She called her son a “one-of-a-kind” boy.

The grand jury returned two true bills against Tiffani Holston Nov. 13. The first, the charge of first-degree murder, says the mother “did commit the offense of first-degree murder by killing Joshua Christopher Holston in the perpetration of aggravated child neglect.”

In the charge of aggravated child neglect, the grand jury’s true bill says the mother “did commit the offense … by knowingly, other than by accidental means, treating Joshua Christopher Holston … in such a manner that resulted in serious bodily injury; Class E Felony.”

The Elizabethton STAR will continue to update this story online and in the print edition.




19 Responses to Mother faces first-degree murder charge

  1. Unless this mother was drunk these charges are insane.

  2. These charges are not insane! Where was she as her baby was walking into the street? If she was paying attention to her child this horrible thing wouldnt have happened!

  3. PumpkinSpice says:

    Actually, there are two types of first degree murder. As copy and pasted from a law website, you will see that she fits the criteria for the “insane” charges. It states:

    ” Murder is perhaps the single most serious criminal offense. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the killing, a person who is convicted of murder may be sentenced to many years in prison, a prison sentence with no possibility of Parole, or death.

    The precise definition of murder varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Under the Common Law, or law made by courts, murder was the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. The term malice aforethought did not necessarily mean that the killer planned or premeditated on the killing, or that he or she felt malice toward the victim. Generally,malice aforethought referred to a level of intent or reck-lessness that separated murder from other killings and warranted stiffer punishment.

    The definition of murder has evolved over several centuries. Under most modern statutes in the United States, murder comes in four varieties: (1) intentional murder; (2) a killing that resulted from the intent to do serious bodily injury; (3) a killing that resulted from a depraved heart or extreme recklessness; and (4) murder committed by an Accomplice during the commission of, attempt of, or flight from certain felonies.”

    I do think that Carter Co. is tired of neglectful, druggy parents, and might be using her as an example to others.

  4. Guest says:

    My understanding is that the mother was under the influence of drugs. In that case, she is guilty of negligence. I believe first degree murder may be too severe of a charge. She will probably go free because the charge is too strong for the crime. However, she should be punished. I also heard a rumor that the driver committed suicide. If so, my heart breaks for him. How sad to feel such guilt for something that was not his fault. Does anyone know about this rumor??? If so, is there any truth to it????

    • PumpkinSpice says:

      The truck driver is not dead. That is a rumor.

      If a child is in the hands of neglectful parents and those parents “forget” to feed that child and as a result of that.. the child dies. Is that parent guilty of murder? Many courts have said YES in the past.

      This is what the murder charge is about and hardly too severe. This child is dead because the parent “forgot” to protect her child from a busy intersection.

      She was too drugged (apparently) to KNOW that she should hold a four year old’s hand crossing the street! I don’t know if you have kids, but no parent in the right frame of mind, would even THINK of letting a child cross a road alone. Much less leave the child behind to find his own way across.

      I’ve seen some really bad parents in my lifetime and still none top leaving a child unattended, around lunch time, in a restaurant parking lot, next to a busy intersection. It doesn’t take a genus or a super mother to know what exactly is more than likely to happen.

      This is as much murder as the parents that starved their child. The effects of neglect leading to death.. is still murder.

      • Guest says:

        My understanding is that the mother has been charged with First Degree Murder. According to the Lectric Law Library, “In order for someone to be found guilty of first degree murder the government must prove that the person killed another person; the person killed the other person with malice aforethought; and the killing was premeditated.” and “Premeditation means with planning or deliberation.” The mother was stoned…. she may have been thinking about her next hit of drugs but I doubt she was planning the murder of her child. Too many criminals are found innocent… not because they didn’t commit the crime but because the charge was too severe. I believe the prosecution should assure a fitting charge to assure a fitting conviction.

  5. I can only hope that there is some organization that is supporting this woman who has lost her child and who is trying to get off drugs. I think that these charges are very excessive. I cannot believe what I am reading. Way to go to support the mom of the child!
    Also, why did she not have the child taken from her if she was found to be selling drugs or kept having drug problems? A temporary stay in foster care or another relative could have made this whole thing not happen. When she was straightened out, she would have had the child return to her. People do this all the time, ask for the state to take their child while they straighten up. There are two sides to this and her side is being ignored.
    I cannot believe it, although I am not an expert on the law…I think there is something rotten in Denmark.

  6. Iris Messenger says:

    Was the woman driving the truck? This makes about as much sense as the women school bus driver who had the accident and is facing charges that will get her life in prison. Is there a bunch of misogynist women in East Tennessee who like to see other women suffer?

    • no the woman was not driving a man was. the woman was walking across the road with her child

      • PumpkinSpice says:

        Actually, The mother was already across the road in Walgreen’s parking lot as her child attempted to cross the road alone from McDonald’s. She finally noticed that her child had been hit by the truck when other people started making a commotion.

        • pumpkin you are so wrong tiffany was on nothing when this hapened..she was a good mother to joshua…my lil boy used to play with hers at mcdonalds…everyone is passing judgement and they dont even now what happened….you really need to know the person before you tlk about them…she was tested for drugs and she was clean…

          • PumpkinSpice says:

            Actually, I know for a absolute fact that the toxicology results test showed that she was under the influence of drug(s).
            But you are free to believe whatever helps you along.

            I wasn’t passing judgement.. judgement is making a guess as to what took place.. I am stating the facts of what was written by reputable news sources. There is a difference between a judgement and stating facts and using common sense. Common sense would tell you that a mother who lets her child cross a street unattended (as in this case), and does drugs PERIOD… is NOT a good mother.

            But, again, you are free to believe whatever gets you through.

          • disqus_3pbkbFEH2H says:

            No she wasn’t a good mother if she was she would have watched him better and she is a drugie

    • disqus_mse79Pc9cm says:


  7. disqus_3pbkbFEH2H says:

    I think she should rot in prison its her fault her child is dead

  8. disqus_mse79Pc9cm says:

    Well I was not there so I don’t know what happen but I look at it this way if she was a good mother and loved here kid then she would of been holding its hand not a phone or dog or drugs or what ever she was doing but she was not caring for her child and I hope she gets life & 1 day without parole & I hope she sees this accident every day of her life . I was told she was going to sue the trucking company . That’s a bunch of bs unless you drive a truck or have driven a truck you don’t know what it’s like to drive 1 I do drive they are blind spots all over a truck that you cannot see anything in them and yes she did use drugs that for a fact that I know that . so she needs leave the phone the dog whatever she was doing a loan and pay more attention to the kid maybe if she spend the rest of her life in prison she might think about the next time if she ever get a chance to pay attention and I hope that she never gets to ever take care of her daughter we see now she took care of the boy God rest his soul

  9. gsxjl says:

    several witnesses saw this happen the mother wasn’t paying any attention to the child and was busy walking her dog while she left her 4 year old on the other side of the road anyone without enough sense to hold a 4 year old’s hand at least while crossing 4 lanes of traffic dose not children or to be part of our society.

  10. why was she not holding this little kids hand while crossing at an obviously very busy intersection hes 4 years old very small to a truck driver who couldnt see him infront of the truck and why did she leave him to walk behind her on his own, she had to be on a fix or just didnt care.

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