Stepmother of Etowah County Girl Gave Birth On Day She Was Arrested

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An Etowah County woman gave birth this week, on the same day she was arrested for the murder of her 9-year-old stepdaughter.

Authorities say Jessica Mae Hardin gave birth Monday, the day she was charged with Savannah Hardin's murder.  The girl's grandmother, Joyce Hardin Garrard, is also charged with murder.

Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp says Jessica Hardin is under guard at a local hospital.

Authorities say Savannah Hardin died after she was forced to run for three hours as punishment for eating a candy bar.

Savannah Hardin was in third grade at Carlisle Elementary School in Gadsden.  The Superintendent of Schools is scheduled to speak today at 4 p.m. to discuss how students are coping with their friend's death.  WHNT News 19 will have a crew there.

Morgan Funeral Chapel in Attalla is handling Savannah's funeral arrangements.