An Alabama woman serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for running her 9-year-old granddaughter to death has died less than a year into her prison sentence.
Joyce Hardin Garrard, 50, reportedly died five days after she collapsed following a visit with relatives at the prison, NBC News reports.
Her official cause of death has not been released, but defense attorney Dani Bone said Garrard apparently suffered a heart attack.
On Feb. 7, Garrard was transported from the prisonto Montgomery hospital by helicopter and placed on life support. She died five days later.
"This is another loss for a family that already has lost so much," Bone said.
As punishment for lying about eating candy, Garrard made her 9-year-old granddaughter Savannah Hardin run outside her home for more than three hours in 2012, The Washington Post reported.
“I didn’t tell you to stop!,” witnesses said Garrard yelled at Savannah.
Savannah was seen on the ground vomiting, while Garrard shouted, “Get up! I better not have to tell you again!”
Savannah suffered from a seizure and was hospitalized. She died days later from extreme physical exertion, according to the autopsy.
Garrard testified that she never meant to hurt Savannah. She also claimed Savannah asked Garrard to coach her because she wanted to come first in school races, according to NBC News.
"If she was running, I was running," Garrard said in court.
Garrard was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life-without-parole.
Savannah’s stepmother, Jessica Mae Hardin, faces a murder charge in the case for allegedly failing to stop the punishment. She pleaded not guilty. Her trial is set for June and she is out on bail.