Alabama woman found guilty for forcing Child run to death
A 49 year-old woman was found guilty by an Alabama jury Friday for capital murder. Joyce Garrard could face death penalty or life sentence without bail for death of her 9-year-old granddaughter Savannah Hardin.
According to authorities, Garrard forced Savannah to run and carry wood for hours as punishment for a lie about candy. The grandchild collapsed and died after three days in a hospital. Although the defense denied that the woman meant no harm to her grandchild, the claim was rejected by the jurors.
However, Garrard had testified that she would 'die' before hurting her grandchild. She said that she only made the girl to pick up sticks in her yard as punishment on the day of her collapse.
However, the prosecutors argued that Garrard killed the child intentionally by scolding her and making her run around the yard even after she vomited and begged to end the exercise.
Garrard looked down when the verdict was read and hugged her three attorneys before being led out of court by deputies.
Her Defense attorney Dani Bone laid his head on the table and delivered after about 3½ hours of deliberation. Some of her relatives began to cry. Garrard's husband, Johnny, sat behind her, hugging a crying daughter before the daughter ran from the courtroom sobbing.
Garrard is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday. Jurors will hear additional testimony and make a decision on whether to recommend life without parole or death. However, under Alabama law, the final decision is up to the judge.