Jury: Life sentence for grandmother in girl's running death

Mar 26, 2015 3:34 PM by News Staff

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) - A jury is recommending life without parole for an Alabama woman convicted of capital murder in her granddaughter's running death.

Jurors rejected prosecutors' pleas for a death sentence for Joyce Hardin Garrard.

The decision came Thursday on Garrard's 50th birthday.

The verdict is only a suggestion under Alabama law. Circuit Judge Billy Ogletree will make the final sentencing decision at a hearing later.

The same jury convicted Garrard of capital murder last week in the February 2012 death of 9-year-old Savannah Hardin.

Prosecutors told jurors the woman deserved to die for making the girl run for hours as punishment for a lie about candy. The child collapsed and died later in a hospital.

The defense asked for mercy, arguing that Savannah loved Garrard and wouldn't want her put to death.


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