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Judge Denies Bond Request For Grandmother Accused of Murder

ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The Etowah County Circuit Court has denied the bond request for Joyce Hardin Garrard, the woman indictment for capital murder in the murder of 9-year-old Savannah Hardin.

In early 2012, prosecutors say Garrard found out Savannah, her granddaughter, had eaten a candy bar on the school bus.

They say as punishment, Savannah was forced to run around the yard carry a 15-pound piece of firewood.  Savannah collapsed and later died.

Last year, Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp said his office has school bus video showing Garrard threatening Savannah.

“‘I’m going to run her until she can’t run anymore,’ and that’s exactly what she did,” Harp said as he described the video.  “She didn’t know she was doing it, but she looked through the school bus door and told the bus driver what she had intended to do and I certainly think that goes toward intent,” Harp added.

Harp says the aggravating circumstances of heinous, atrocious, and cruel acts led to Savannah’s death and the capital murder charge.

“From talking to the medical examiner and others, there had to be a point in time that she knew that if this carried on any further, that a death would occur,” said Harp.

Savannah’s mother is also charged with murder in case.  Prosecutors say she did nothing to stop Garrard or to aid her daughter.

Garrard’s trial date has not been set.

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