Stepmom gives birth after arrest in girl's death

February 23, 2012 - 1:56 PM
Girls Death Arrests

This undated photo released by the Etowah County Sheriff's Dept. Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 shows 9-year-old Savannah Hardin. Authorities say they've charged a grandmother and stepmother of the girl, who died after being forced to run as punishment. Etowah County sheriff's officials say 46-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard of Carlisle and 27-year-old Jessica Mae Hardin are accused of murder in the death of Savannah Hardin. Investigators say Garrard allegedly made the girl run without stopping for there hours as punishment for lying to her. (AP Photo/Etowah County Sheriffs Office)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama woman has given birth the same day she was arrested for the death of her 9-year-old stepdaughter, who authorities say died after being forced to run for three hours as punishment for eating a candy bar.

Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp says Jessica Mae Hardin is under guard at a hospital after giving birth Wednesday.

Hardin and her mother-in-law Joyce Hardin Garrard were charged with murder in the death of Savannah Hardin. 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.