GADSDEN, Ala. – Prosecutors in the case of a young girl who was run to death are turning their attention to the child's stepmom now that the grandmother is headed to prison for life.
Jurors recommended life imprisonment without parole Thursday for the grandmother, Joyce Hardin Garrard, who was convicted of capital murder in the February 2012 death of 9-year-old Savannah Hardin. The jury rejected prosecutors' pleas for the death penalty. Prosecutors said they would accept the recommendation at the final sentencing hearing, set for May 11.
By then, authorities could be moving toward a trial for Savannah's stepmother, Jessica Mae Hardin.
While prosecutors said Garrard forced the girl to run as punishment until she collapsed in a fatal seizure, Hardin is accused of sitting by idly rather than intervening.