DA seeks death penalty in girl's running death

March 13, 2012 - 12:17 AM

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against a woman whose granddaughter died after being forced to run three hours as a punishment.

The Gadsden Times (http://bit.ly/AkTSS5 ) reports that Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp made the announcement Monday regarding 46-year-old Joyce Garrard, who was indicted last week for capital murder in the death of 9-year-old Savannah Hardin.

An Alabama grand jury also last week indicted the girl's stepmother, 27-year-old Jessica Hardin, for felony murder.

Prosecutors charged Garrard with the capital offense because the girl's death last month happened during another felony, child abuse. Authorities said Jessica Hardin didn't intervene when Garrard punished the girl for lying about eating chocolate.

Attorneys for both women have denied they did anything intentional to harm Savannah and predict both will be acquitted.