Alabama woman convicted in girl’s running death dies

Alabama woman convicted in girl’s running death dies
Savannah Hardin (Image: family photo)

An Alabama woman convicted of capital murder in the running death of her 9-year-old granddaughter died Friday less than a year into her life-without-parole sentence for the killing.

Joyce Hardin Garrard, 50, died five days after being stricken at the state’s women’s prison, prison spokesman Bob Horton said.

The cause of death wasn’t immediately available, but defense attorney Dani Bone said Garrard apparently suffered a heart attack Sunday minutes after visiting relatives at the state women’s prison. She was taken from the prison by helicopter ambulance to a Montgomery hospital where she was placed on life support and eventually died.

“This is another loss for a family that already has lost so much,” Bone said.

Last year, an Etowah County jury convicted Garrard of killing 9-year-old Savannah Hardin by making her run as punishment for a lie about eating candy in 2012. Evidence during the trial showed that girl ran for hours outside Garrard’s home in rural northeastern Alabama.

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