The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 7, 2013

Grandmother charged in girl's death seeks bond

GADSDEN —

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama grandmother is trying to get out of jail as she awaits trial in the death of her 9-year-old granddaughter, who prosecutors say was forced to run until she died.

A judge is set to consider a bond request by 48-year-old Joyce Garrard during a hearing in Gadsden on Tuesday.

Garrard has been jailed more than a year on a capital murder charge awaiting trial in the death of 9-year-old Savannah Hardin.

Authorities say the woman forced Savannah to run as punishment for a lie, and the girl eventually collapsed. She died days later in February 2012.

The girl's stepmother also is charged with murder, but the judge previously released her on bond.

Records show officials have subpoenaed several witnesses ahead of the hearing before Circuit Judge William Ogletree.

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