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Nancy Grace

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Family members charged in girl's running death

NEED TO KNOW
  • 9-year-old dies after allegedly running for hours as punishment for lying about eating candy
  • Stepmother and grandmother being held on murder charges

A nine-year-old girl from Alabama has died after cops say her grandmother and stepmother punished her by making her run for three hours.

Etowah County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Natalie Barton told HLN’s Nancy Grace that stepmother Jessica Hardin and grandmother Joyce Garrard have been charged with felony murder in Savannah Hardin’s death -- but the charges could be upgraded in the coming days.

According to WBRC reporter Jonathan Hardison, authorities say Garrard learned that Savannah had lied about eating a candy bar, which she was not supposed to do because of a medical condition. As punishment, Garrard allegedly ordered the third-grader to run around the house and forced her to keep running for approximately three hours.

Around 6:45 p.m. Friday, Hardin called 911 to report that Savannah had a seizure and was unresponsive. She died at a Birmingham hospital on Monday, just hours after her father made it home from his job as a contractor for the State Department in Pakistan, CNN reported.

For more on this case, watch “Nancy Grace” Thursday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET on HLN.

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