CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

May 7, 2013

UPDATE: Neighbors don't object to grandmother's bond in running death case

By JAY REEVES
Associated Press

GADSDEN — Neighbors say they don’t object to a woman being released on bond as she awaits trial in the death of her granddaughter, who prosecutors say was run to death.

Six neighbors of Joyce Garard testified Tuesday during a bond hearing for the woman in Gadsden.

Each says they’re fine with the woman’s release from jail, where she’s currently held without bond.

The Alabama grandmother is trying to get out of jail as she awaits trial in the death of her 9-year-old granddaughter, who prosecutors say was forced to run until she died.

Circuit Judge William Ogletree didn’t immediately rule on Garard’s request for bond.

Garrard has been jailed more than a year on a capital murder charge awaiting trial in the death of Savannah Hardin.

Authorities say the woman forced Savannah to run as punishment for a lie, and the girl eventually collapsed. She died days later in February 2012.

The girl’s stepmother also is charged with murder, but the judge previously released her on bond.