In spite of the motion filed by defense attorney’s Judge Billy Ogletree has refused to declare a mistrial in the capital murder trial of Joyce Hardin Garrard, who was convicted last Friday in the 2012 death of her nine year old granddaughter, Savannah Hardin.
The defense alleged that there had been misconduct on the part of four jurors in that case – and attorney Dani Bone called for a mistrial or dismissal of the charges brought against the 49 year old Garrard.
Bone contends that four jurors had appeared to have violated the judge’s orders about not reading news media accounts, staying away from social media and discussing the case with anyone else.
Judge Ogletree denied that motion, dismissing only one juror – reportedly due to a death in the family.
At this point, pretty much everyone is familiar with the background of the case and how the nine year old Savannah was forced to run non-stop for some three hours as punishment for lying about eating a candy bar on the school bus in February, 2012.
The child eventually collapsed and was rushed to an area hospital for treatment – however, she died three days later.
On Wednesday, jurors heard from family members who testified that Garrard had endured a brutal childhood, consisting of extreme poverty sexual abuse; that, in addition to frequent beatings, administered by her own grandmother.
Garrard’s husband also took the stand – describing how he and his wife of 20 years treated all of their stepchildren equally, with the exception of Savannah whom he says they “favored slightly” because she was their first.
Closing arguments are set to begin today (Thursday, March 26th) – which, ironically, is also Garrard’s 50th birthday.