BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – An appeals court is refusing to dismiss a capital murder charge against an Alabama woman jailed in the running death of her 9-year-old granddaughter.
The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals rejected a challenge by Joyce Garrard.
Garrard has been held since 2012, but the court says trial delays haven’t violated her constitutional rights.
Prosecutors say Garrard forced granddaughter Savannah Hardin to run for hours as punishment for a lie. The girl collapsed and died later in a hospital.
The 49-year-old Boaz woman says she is innocent, and her lawyers blame the child’s death on other health problems.
The decision by the appeals court didn’t address Garrard’s claims about potential problems with the girl’s autopsy.
The judges ruled Friday. Garrard’s trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 23 in Etowah County.
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