Joyce Garrard Hardin, a 49-year-old Alabama woman, is requesting that capital murder charges against her, resulting from the death of her granddaughter, be dropped on the grounds that the autopsy was “problematic.”
Hardin was arrested in 2012 for forcing her 9-year-old granddaughter to “run for hours as punishment for a lie about candy,” according to the Daily Mail. After the girl collapsed due to exhaustion, she was hospitalized and died three days later.
Hardin’s lawyers have requested that the charges be dropped because of problems that arose in the autopsy of Savannah Hardin. Joyce Hardin’s lawyers are claiming that the child died due to “longstanding health problems” and that her physical condition should be investigated and could be vital in a trial. Hardin, who could be facing the death penalty, has pleaded not guilty.
The Daily Mail also reports that the autopsy was “performed by a doctor who was later fired over allegations that included possible falsification of documents and dereliction of duty. The physician has since failed to testify in other cases and may not be available to testify in Hardin's trial, the defense argued in the document.” The defense is also attempting to have charges dropped due to the trial being delayed multiple times. Lawyers for Hardin also claim that she is currently in ill health at the Etowah County Jail.
Despite attempts, Etowah County judge William Ogletree has, so far, rejected attempts to throw out the case and drop the charges. Savannah Hardin’s stepmother was also charged for her murder after she failed to intervene when Savannah was running, but is currently free on bond.
According to reports, prosecutors have not responded to the requests from Joyce Hardin’s lawyers. The request was submitted in late October. Hardin’s trial is set for February 12th in Gadsden, AL.
Source: Daily Mail / Photo Credit: Farrahgray.com