Joyce Garrard, 49, is charged with capital murder for allegedly forcing her granddaughter to run to death

By Tara Fowler
Updated March 12, 2015 12:40 PM
Credit: Eric T. Wright/The Gadsden Times/AP

The trial continues for an Alabama grandmother who is charged with capital murder for allegedly forcing her 9-year-old granddaughter, Savannah Hardin, to run for three hours as punishment for lying about eating candy bars.

On Wednesday, jurors heard testimony from Kristen Green, who met Joyce Garrard at the hospital where Savannah was taken after she collapsed.

She described Garrard as “very blunt,” “numb” and “not what I would have expected” for someone whose granddaughter was on life support, reports. Green went on to testify that she passed Garrard a message from one of Savannah’s teachers and the grandmother said: “[Expletive] her. She didn’t want to talk to me the other day, I don’t want to talk to her.”

A big point of contention on the third day of trial was Savannah’s hospital records, which said that the girl was “alert and oriented” after the ambulance ride to the hospital, according to the Associated Press.

The records are important evidence in the case because they would seem to indicate that the 9-year-old may have died from other medical complications unrelated to the hours of exertion on the afternoon of Feb. 17, 2012.

But prosecutors claimed the records were inaccurate and called on medical scribe Renee Jones, who testified that Savannah “wasn’t talking to anybody or sitting up on a cot. She was just lying there.”

The defense asked for a mistrial, saying that they were “not provided with this alleged mistake,” but the judge denied the request. Jones, however, was withdrawn as a witness following a heated conference at the judge’s desk. Garrard has pled not guilty to all charges.

On Tuesday, jurors listened to a 911 call in which Garrard can be heard saying “Give me a smoke” while her granddaughter lay unmoving at her feet.

Testimony is expected to continue on Friday morning.

Savannah’s stepmother, Jessica Mae Hardin, is currently awaiting trial on a murder charge in the girl’s death. Police say she knew what was happening and failed to intervene. Hardin has pleaded not guilty to the charge.