Murder trial date set for Jessica Hardin, stepmother in running death case

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ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Court documents show a murder trial for Jessica Mae Hardin has been set for February 22, 2016. Hardin is the stepmother of Savannah Hardin, who officials say was forced to run until she collapsed and died in 2012.

Prosecutors say Savannah Hardin was forced to run for more than three hours as punishment for lying about eating candy bars. Prosecutors claim Jessica Hardin did nothing to intervene on the child’s behalf during the punishment.

In March, an Etowah County jury convicted Joyce Hardin Garrard of capital murder. Garrard is Savannah’s grandmother. A judge sentenced her to life in prison without parole.