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Stepmom gives birth after arrest in girl's death
Ala. officials work to keep safe children of stepmom arrested in death of girl forced to run
By The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) ' Alabama officials have taken steps to keep safe the children of a woman arrested in the death of her 9-year-old stepdaughter who was forced to run for three hours, including creating a provision for a baby the stepmom gave birth to hours after being taken into custody.

Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp says the state Department of Human Resources has been asked to create a safety plan for Jessica Mae Hardin's newborn as well as her 3-year-old son.

Hardin and her mother-in-law, Joyce Hardin Garrard, were charged Wednesday with murder in the death of Savannah Hardin. Authorities say the girl died Monday after she was forced to run on Feb. 17 as punishment for lying about eating a candy bar.

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