Opening statements set Monday in trial of Alabama grandmother accused in girl's running death


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GADSDEN, Alabama — A jury has been selected for the trial of an Alabama woman charged with capital murder in her granddaughter's running death.

Attorneys selected the jury Friday after Etowah County Circuit Judge Billy Ogletree refused defense requests to delay and move the trial. Opening statements are scheduled Monday.

Prosecutors say that three years ago 49-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard of Boaz made her 9-year-old granddaughter Savannah Hardin run for hours as punishment for telling a lie. The girl collapsed and died.

Garrard says she's innocent. She could receive the death penalty if convicted.

Jurors weren't in court during the selection process so a breakdown of the panel wasn't immediately available. The panel will be kept at the courthouse during the day.

The girl's stepmother is charged with murder and is awaiting trial.

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