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Grandmother 'innocent' of run death

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Joyce Hardin Garrard is alleged to have forced her nine-year-old granddaughter to keep running as punishment (AP)

Joyce Hardin Garrard is alleged to have forced her nine-year-old granddaughter to keep running as punishment (AP)

Joyce Hardin Garrard is alleged to have forced her nine-year-old granddaughter to keep running as punishment (AP)

A grandmother is innocent of charges that she killed her nine-year-old daughter by forcing her to run until she collapsed, a court was told.

During opening statements at Etowah County, Alabama, defence lawyer Dani Bone tried to cast doubt on the medical evidence in the capital murder case against 49-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard.

Mr Bone showed a copy of the indictment, which mentions that the girl, Savannah Hardin, had severe dehydration and seizures. However, he said Savannah died of a fatally low sodium level.

He claimed that meant Savannah had too much water in her system, not that she was dehydrated.

Prosecutors say Savannah, who suffered from ADHD, was forced to run for more than three hours carrying sticks and firewood as a punishment for lying about eating candy.

PA Media