Appeals court extends deadline for state in challenge over girl's running death

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MONTGOMERY, Alabama — A state appeals court is giving prosecutors more time to respond to legal challenges in the case of a woman charged in her granddaughter's running death in Etowah County.

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals says prosecutors have until next week to answer arguments filed by lawyers for Joyce Hardin Garrard.

The state asked for more time to file documents that were supposed to be due last week.

Garrard is charged with capital murder in the death of her 9-year-old granddaughter, Savannah Hardin. Prosecutors claim the woman made the girl run until she collapsed as punishment for a lie.

The 49-year-old Garrard says she's innocent.

Garrard argues that her rights have been violated by a nearly three-year wait for trial. She's also citing potential problems with the girl's autopsy.

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