Public barred for jury selection in trial of Alabama woman charged in girl's running death

Potential jurors are reporting amid secrecy for the capital murder trial of an Alabama woman charged in her granddaughter's running death.

Etowah County Circuit Judge Billy Ogletree refused public access Monday as prosecutors and defense lawyers prepared to begin questioning potential jurors for the trial of 59-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard of Boaz.

Criminal trials are typically open to the public, and the judge didn't mention closed-door jury selection in a pretrial order about media coverage.

But Circuit Clerk Cassandra Johnson tells The Associated Press that jury selection isn't open to the public.

Authorities contend Garrard killed 9-year-old Savannah Hardin three years ago by making her run for hours as punishment for a lie about eating candy. The woman could receive the death penalty if convicted.

Garrard says she is innocent.