An Alabama grandmother who forced her granddaughter to run in what turned out to be a cruelly fatal punishment for eating a candy bar has died.
Less than a year into her life sentence for her role in the death of 9-year-old Savannah Hardin, Joyce Garrard suffered an apparent heart attack minutes after she was visited by members of her family.
The 50-year-old collapsed and was airlifted to a hospital Sunday, where she was placed on life support. She died Friday.
Garrard was convicted of capital murder last March in the death of Hardin, who she forced to run for nearly three hours before the girl collapsed and fell into seizures and later died of dehydration and low sodium.
Prosecutors showed that, in 2012, Garrard had forced the girl to run as a punishment for eating a candy bar and then lying about it.
Garrard told a bus driver at the time that the girl had a bladder condition and wasn't allowed to eat sweets.
A judge in the case overrided the jury's recommendation that Garrard be put to death.
Jessica Hardin, the girl's 30-year-old stepmother, has also been charged in her death and is set to be tried later this month.
Garrard's defense attorney Dani Bone told Reuters this must be a difficult time for the family but went on to say:
"I believe the family is going to be somewhat relieved with the thought that Joyce is going to be in heaven with Savannah and her pain and suffering will be gone."