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Alabama granny Joyce Garrard forced little girl to run until she died

By AP Reporter

A grandmother in the US has been jailed for life without parole following the death of her nine-year-old granddaughter after the little girl was forced to run for hours.

Savannah Hardin collapsed after running and died three days later in 2012.

Prosecutors say Alabama woman Joyce Hardin Garrard made the child run for hours as punishment for a lie about eating sweets.

Garrard held hands with her defence lawyer as Etowah County Circuit Judge Billy Ogletree handed down the sentence yesterday.

The 50-year-old grandmother denied that she meant to harm the child.

She told jurors the girl was running as practice because she wanted to do better in a race at school.

The jury that convicted Garrard recommended life in prison but the final decision was up to the judge.

The judge could have given Garrard the death penalty.

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