GADSDEN, Ala. — A judge has sentenced an Alabama woman to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the running death of her 9-year-old granddaughter.
Joyce Hardin Garrard held hands with her defense lawyer as Etowah County Circuit Judge Billy Ogletree handed down the sentence Monday.
Nine-year-old Savannah Hardin collapsed after running and died three days later in 2012. Prosecutors say Garrard made the child run for hours as punishment for a lie about candy.
The 50-year-old grandmother denied that she meant to harm the child. She told jurors the girl was running as practice because she wanted to do better in a race at school.
The jury that convicted Garrard recommended life in prison for the woman but the final decision was up to the judge.