Alabama girl dies after being forced to run...

[deleted account] ( 14 moms have responded )

ATTALLA, Ala. (AP) — Roger Simpson said he looked down the road and saw a little girl running outside her home but didn't give it another thought. Police, however, said the man witnessed a murder in progress.

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 meted out the punishment were taken to jail Wednesday and face murder charges.

Witnesses told deputies Savannah was told to run and not allowed to stop for three hours on Friday, an Etowah County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said. The girl's stepmother, 27-year-old Jessica Mae Hardin, called police at 6:45 p.m., telling them Savannah was having a seizure and was unresponsive.

Simpson said he saw a little girl running at around 4 p.m., but didn't see anybody chasing or coercing her.

"I saw her running down there, that's what I told the detectives," Simpson said from his home on a hill overlooking the Hardins. "But I don't see how that would kill her."

Authorities are still trying to determine whether Savannah was forced to run by physical coercion or by verbal commands. Deputies were told the girl was made to run after lying to her grandmother, 46-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard, about having eaten the candy, sheriff's office spokeswoman Natalie Barton said.

Savannah Hardin died Monday at Children's Hospital in Birmingham, according to a news release from the sheriff's office. The sheriff's release said an autopsy report showed the girl was extremely dehydrated and had a very low sodium level. A state pathologist ruled it a homicide.


This is heartbreaking. What do you think inevitably caused the girl's death and do you think ruling it a homicide is appropriate?


[deleted account]

I'm not sure, but I think that here (US) manslaughter and negligent homicide are extremely similar if not the same. But I agree, this was completely uncalled for. I sometimes wish people had to have a certain IQ or undergo psychiatric testing before they were allowed to have children or babysit.

Jodi - posted on 02/24/2012




Here, that would be considered manslaughter not homicide. But really, it's just semantics. Even if it didn't kill her, it was a cruel and unreasonable punishment. And the punishment certainly didn't fit the crime, not by a long shot. Honestly, I wish it were compulsory that parents attend parenting course on behavioural management, and then there might just be more tools available for parents who seem not to have any.

[deleted account]

this case would be considered negligent homicide. same as if you accidentally killed someone by feeding them a food they were deathly allergic to but that you honestly didn't know it.

i don't understand why anyone would make their child run for that long! just for lying about eating some candy. wtf, did she get into her grandma's secret stash or something??? you don't send your kid on a 3hr run for THAT. when i saw this story i was speechless. i still don't quite know what to say. i don't even know how i feel about the family that did this to her. usually i try to think about how they must feel, but in this situation i really don't think i care. part of me hopes they rot, this is just inexcusable...

Stifler's - posted on 02/24/2012




Who doesn't know that running for 3 hours will kill a 9 year old. Derp.

[deleted account]

Whether or not it was the running that killed her, what sort of a dip-shit makes a nine year old kid run for three hours???


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Stifler's - posted on 02/25/2012




I think it's manslaughter. You still killed someone. Murder is when you meant to kill the person.

[deleted account]

Homicide is any intentional action resulting in death--whether you meant for the action to result in death or not, so long as you meant to take the action....from what I know, I'm NOT reliable on that, but I'm thinking of situations like when someone attacking someone accidentally kills someone by hitting them too hard, or pushing them in a way that results in them falling and dying. That is still homicide even though the attacker didn't mean for it to be, right?

I think the punishment was abusive, no different than a person beating a child to death by spanking too hard.

Tracey - posted on 02/24/2012




Thought homicide was only if you intended your actions to result in someone's death.

Accidental death maybe?

Tam - posted on 02/24/2012




Jesus. The only thing I could think while reading that is that when I run for that long, the distance is around 10 miles. And I usually take 6-8 weeks to work myself up to that distance.

And I run a lot. And I keep hydrated. And I still normally feel somewhat weak and woozy afterward.

I've been doing that for near on a decade, and I'm an adult conditioned for it. These is no reason a person should undergo that amount of physical stress without training, a safety observer (I always run with a partner on the long stretches) and plenty of preparation beforehand.

It's NOT hard to fall out due to hydration. And a little girl isn't going to know the signs of severe heat disorder before she succumbs to it.


Sally - posted on 02/23/2012




I haven't read any posts yet. I will and maybe there will be something that will make me think differently but now all i got to say is what 9 year old would run for 3 hours .

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/23/2012




So sad. The poor little girl. I can't say what happened for sure but seems to me the police may be on to something. Kills me to know people treat their children so harshly, that they end up killing them. No chance to fight for herself, no chance to live. So sad.

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