Grandmother, stepmom barred from girl's memorial

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) - Officials say the grandmother and stepmother charged in the death of a 9-year-old girl who was allegedly run to death in Alabama weren't allowed to attend the child's memorial service.

Both 46-year-old Joyce Garrard and 27-year-old Jessica Mae Hardin requested permission to attend a service for Savannah Hardin. But officials said Tuesday an Etowah County judge refused to let them out of jail for the memorial, which was held Sunday.

A bond hearing is set for Thursday for the younger woman, who gave birth shortly after her arrest on a murder charge in the girl's death.

Authorities say Garrard forced her granddaughter to run for three hours as punishment for a lie, and authorities say the stepmother didn't intervene. Both women are charged with murder. Defense lawyers say they're innocent.

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