GADSDEN, Ala. – Jurors who convicted an Alabama woman in the running death of her 9-year-old granddaughter soon must decide whether they think she should die for the crime or spend the rest of her life in prison.
The jury convicted 49-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard late Friday in the death of Savannah Hardin, siding with prosecutors who said Garrard became so enraged over a lie that she made the girl run until she dropped in February 2012.
In the sentencing phase expected Monday, jurors will be asked if they recommend life without parole or death for Garrard. The final decision rests with Circuit Judge Billy Ogletree under Alabama law.
Authorities claimed Garrard forced Savannah to run for hours as punishment for a lie about candy. Savannah had a seizure and died days later.