Chattanooga man facing murder charges in overdose death of his 2-year-old son has bond revoked

Staff photo by Sofia Saric / Taiwan Greathouse, who is accused of felony murder and first-degree murder in connection with the overdose death of his 2-year-old son.
Staff photo by Sofia Saric / Taiwan Greathouse, who is accused of felony murder and first-degree murder in connection with the overdose death of his 2-year-old son.

A Chattanooga man facing murder charges in connection with the overdose death of his 2-year-old son allegedly made his older children help him and his wife with buying and selling drugs.

Taiwan Greathouse, 34, displayed a significant disregard for the well-being of his family, and it would likely translate to a lack of care for the public's safety, Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Amanda Dunn said Wednesday in court.

Greathouse was free on bond for other felony charges when his son died in March 2023, which at the least shows indifference for the criminal justice system, Dunn said.

"Not only was there a toddler in this residence where narcotics were being kept," Dunn said, "I think your 15-year-old child at times was asked to assist."

His bond was revoked Wednesday, and he will remain in jail pending trial.

Greathouse is facing charges that include felony murder, first-degree murder and aggravated child neglect in connection with his son's death in March 2023. Brittany Bell -- Greathouse's wife and co-defendant and the mother of the dead child -- is also charged with murder but was not present in court.

(READ MORE: Naloxone stopped nearly 2,500 'very preventable' deaths in Chattanooga area in 2023)

Detective testifies

Chattanooga police became involved after a baby arrived at a local hospital dead March 20, Detective James King said in court Wednesday.

"There had been some suspicious things on the front end of it," King said.

Bell, 35, allegedly woke up during the early hours of the morning to find her baby unresponsive, King said. She brought the baby to the hospital without Greathouse, King said.

The baby's urine tested positive for fentanyl, he said.

Authorities obtained a search warrant for Greathouse and Bell's home on the 3100 block of 15th Avenue, King said. Their two older children lived there, too.

Police found 110 blue pills consistent with fentanyl, a large bag of cocaine and a pill press in a refrigerator in the backyard during the search, King said. There was also fentanyl found inside the home.

Greathouse allegedly tested positive for multiple drugs, including fentanyl. Bell did not test positive for fentanyl but showed signs of other drug use. The two older children also tested positive for drugs, King said.

A search warrant was executed on Greathouse's and Bell's cellphones, King said.

In one text, Greathouse allegedly told Bell to ask their 15-year-old child where the drugs were in their home after Bell was unable to find them for an upcoming drug deal, King said.

An autopsy was later performed on the baby, King said. He tested positive for 25 nanograms of fentanyl, which was a fatal dose and cause of death.

(READ MORE: Attorney for man accused in deaths of Chattanooga woman, 7-year-old says location of crime unknown)

Greathouse and Bell returned from a vacation in Miami the day before their son's death, King said.

Greathouse went to a daytime party March 19. It was around the time of his birthday.

He allegedly returned home early that evening, King said. He laid down on the couple's bed to sleep but woke up around 9 p.m. to move to the couch.

Bell allegedly went to sleep with the baby in the bed an hour later, King said. When she woke up around 3 or 4 a.m., their child was unresponsive.

There was no information offered as to how the fentanyl got into the baby's system.

Greathouse and Bell are expected to next appear in court March 26.

Contact Sofia Saric at ssaric@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476.

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