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Judge sets hearing on new-trial request for grandma convicted in Alabama girl's running death

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GADSDEN, Alabama — A judge is considering a request for a new trial for an Alabama woman convicted of capital murder in her granddaughter's running death.

Etowah County Circuit Judge Billy Ogletree has scheduled a hearing for Thursday for 50-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard.

The defense says numerous rulings by the judge violated Garrard's rights during her trial for the death of 9-year-old Savannah Hardin.

Garrard's lawyers also say jurors violated court orders to avoid news during the trial.

Prosecutors say Garrard made the girl run for hours as punishment for a lie about candy. She collapsed and later died.

Garrard testified she never meant to harm the child. She is serving life without parole.

Prosecutors haven't responded to the motion. But they've previously said they're confident the conviction will stand up on appeal.

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