Alabama girl's short life full of turmoil before death

By Jay Reeves/The Associated Press

ATTALLA, Ala. — Court documents show Savannah Hardin’s life was in turmoil long before police say she was run to death by her grandmother and stepmother for allegedly lying about some candy she ate.

The records show a history of fractured family relationships, with 9-year-old Savannah’s divorced parents fighting over her welfare; claims of mental instability and abuse between her father and his second wife; medical problems that required frequent doctor visits; and counseling for the girl who still somehow managed to remain among the top students in her third-grade class.

Authorities say Savannah’s life ended in exhaustion when she was forced by her mother, Jessica Mae Hardin, and grandmother Joyce Hardin Gerrard to run for three hours.

Now, both women are in police custody on murder charges.

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