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February trial set for mom in boy’s death

A trial date has been set for an Elizabethton woman charged in connection with the 2012 death of her child.
Tiffani Marie Holston appeared in Carter County Criminal Court on Tuesday before Judge Lisa Rice. Holston is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child neglect in connection with the October 2012 death of her 4-year-old son Joshua.
Rice set the case for trial in February 2015 and also set a court appearance in November for hearings or motions in the case.
Joshua Holston died as a result of injuries he sustained on Oct. 11, 2012, when he was struck by a dump truck as he, Tiffani Holston and another child attempted to cross Broad Street near the intersection with Lynn Avenue.
Tiffani Holston was indicted on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated child neglect a month after the accident. According to a statement issued by the Elizabethton Police Department at the time, charges were placed against Holston after the investigation into the accident determined Holston had committed aggravated child neglect “which resulted in the death of the child.”
When the indictment was issued by the grand jury, Assistant District Attorney Dennis Brooks explained there are two types of murder that fall under the definition of first-degree murder in state law.
“First you have premeditated murder,” Brooks told the Elizabethton Star in November 2012. “The other is felony murder.”
Brooks explained felony murder is a death that results from the commission of a felony offense.
“That can include aggravated robbery of a store, a burglary of a house or it can be aggravated child abuse or aggravated child neglect,” he said.
Holston was also scheduled to have a sentencing hearing on unrelated drug charges on Tuesday, but that hearing was postponed until February. Earlier this year, on May 15, Holston pleaded guilty to one count of possession of Schedule III drugs for resale, one count of possession of Schedule IV drugs for resale and one count of theft under $500. As part of the plea agreement, one count of possession of Schedule III drugs for resale and one count of possession of Schedule IV drugs for resale against Holston were dismissed.