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      Stepmother Charged in Running Death Asks for Lower Bond

      The stepmother of a 9-year-old Alabama girl who was allegedly run to death as punishment is asking a judge to lower her bond. Jessica Mae Hardin is due in court Friday for a hearing on a request to reduce her bond from $500,000 so she can be released.{}{} {}The woman had a baby after her arrest, but Judge William Ogletree previously refused a similar motion. 28-year-old Hardin and 47-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard are charged in the February death of Savannah Hardin, the older woman's granddaughter. Hardin is charged with murder, Garrard with capital murder.{}{} {}Authorities say Garrard made the girl run for about three hours as punishment for a lie about eating candy. They say Hardin didn't intervene, and the girl collapsed. Both women say they are innocent.

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