Jury recommends life sentence for Joyce Garrard in her granddaughter’s running death

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

GADSDEN, Ala. – The jury has recommended life in prison for Alabama woman in her granddaughter’s running death.

The vote was seven in favor of life in prison and and five in favor of the death sentence.

The decision came Thursday on the defendant Joyce Hardin Garrard’s 50th birthday.

The same jury convicted Garrard of capital murder last week in the February 2012 death of 9-year-old Savannah Hardin.

Prosecutors told jurors the woman deserved to die for making the girl run for hours as punishment for a lie about candy. The child collapsed and died later in a hospital.

The defense asked for mercy, arguing that Savannah loved Garrard and wouldn’t want her put to death.

Garrard’s official sentencing hearing is set for May 11.