ATTALLA, Ala. - A 9-year-old girl is dead after being punished by her grandmother and stepmother for eating candy.
Authorities say 9-year-old Savannah Hardin died after being forced to run for three hours as punishment for having lied to her grandmother about eating candy bars. Severely dehydrated, the girl had a seizure and died days later.
Now, her grandmother and stepmother who police say handed down the punishment were taken to jail Wednesday and face murder charges.
Witnesses tell deputies Savannah was told to run and not allowed to stop for three hours on Friday.
Hannah's stepmother, Jessica Mae Hardin, gave birth on the day she was arrested. She is under guard at a hospital.
Hardin and her mother-in-law Joyce Hardin Garrard were charged with murder in the death of Savannah Hardin.
Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp says his office is interviewing witnesses and may upgrade the charges to capital murder, which carries a possible death sentence.
Harp says Savannah Hardin had a bladder condition and was not supposed to have the caffeine in chocolate. He says there is no evidence the condition contributed to her death.
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