Wednesday 7 December 2016

Woman who ran granddaughter to death for lying given life sentence

Published 11/05/2015 | 20:52

Savannah Hardin, Jessica Mae Hardin and Joyce Hardin Garrard
Savannah Hardin, Jessica Mae Hardin and Joyce Hardin Garrard

An Alabama woman has been jailed for life without parole over the running death of her nine-year-old granddaughter.

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Joyce Hardin Garrard held hands with her defence lawyer as Etowah County Circuit Judge Billy Ogletree handed down the sentence on Monday.

Savannah Hardin collapsed after running and died three days later in 2012. Prosecutors say Garrard made the child run for hours as punishment for a lie about sweets.

Read more: Jury hear chilling 911 call as grandmother is accused of 'running girl (9) to death as punishment'

The 50-year-old grandmother denied that she meant to harm the child. She told jurors the girl was running as practice because she wanted to do better in a race at school.

The jury that convicted Garrard recommended life in prison but the final decision was up to the judge.

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