Grandmother on trial in girl’s running death testifies

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Joyce Garrard has been convicted in the death of her granddaughter, Savannah Hardin.

By Jay Reeves, Associated Press

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) – An Alabama woman charged in her granddaughter’s running death denies making her run as punishment and says she would “rather die” than hurt the little girl.

Joyce Hardin Garrard testified Wednesday that she never intended any harm to her granddaughter, 9-year-old Savannah Hardin.

The 49-year-old Garrard said the two were in the yard picking up sticks and talking, taking frequent breaks to get a drink of water and to play. She said she was telling Savannah the importance of not lying.

Prosecutors say Garrard killed the girl three years ago by making her run as punishment for a lie about candy.

Prosecutors were preparing to cross-examine Garrard after she was questioned by her attorney.

Garrard faces a death sentence or life without parole if convicted of capital murder.