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Gov’t Seeks Death Penalty for Grandma, Says She Urged Girl, 9, to Run for Hours

Posted Mar 15, 2012 11:33 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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An Alabama prosecutor is seeking the death penalty in a murder case against a 46-year-old grandmother accused of forcing a 9-year-old girl, with the cooperation of the child's stepmother, to run as punishment until she suffered a seizure and died.

Joyce Garrard is facing a capital murder charge in the case, but the government is seeking a lesser penalty for the girl's 27-year-old stepmom, Jessica Mae Hardin, who is facing a felony murder charge in the death of Savannah Hardin, reports CNN.

Lawyers for the two have said the charges are unfair and not based on the facts of the case.

Garrard is represented by Dani Bone and Richard Rhea. In a written statement yesterday, they called the accusations against their client "exaggerated, inflated and false," reports the Associated Press.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Grandma, Stepmom Face Murder Case in Death of Girl, 9, Who Ran for Hours as Punishment, Sheriff Says"

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