Stepmom Who Allegedly Ran Daughter to Death Has No Right to Keep Newborn & Toddler

step-mom in girl forced to run to death case

Just when you thought the horrible story of Savannah Hardin, the 9-year-old girl who died after allegedly being forced to run for three hours, couldn't get any more heart-wrenching and stomach-turning, even more sad details about her family are emerging.

As mind-boggling as the timing seems, the stepmother -- who was arrested with her mother-in-law and charged with Savannah's murder -- actually gave birth on Thursday, just hours after being taken into custody. And, as it turns out, she has another child, too -- a 3-year-old son. What is to become of these kids whose mother and grandmother the whole nation is vilifying as complete monsters?

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According to officials, the state has placed the toddler in the care of a relative; the infant will be given to the same relative after the baby leaves the hospital.

Warning: I'm about to say something completely crazy. I know that this stepmother (allegedly) did something unforgivable, but I'm actually feeling some inkling of compassion for her. In addition to potentially facing capital murder charges, which carry a possible death sentence, she's lost her three children, including her newborn baby. She's likely lost her husband who had been working overseas when the whole ordeal went down and actually filed for divorce from her in August 2010. According to his court records, she is bipolar and an alcoholic (which makes you wonder why he left his 9-year-old with her, but that's another story). Clearly, this is a woman with serious, serious issues.

This story makes me so gut-wrenchingly sad -- for the beautiful girl that died, for these two very messed up individuals who thought it was okay to do this to a child, for the rest of the family. I just want to burrow under the covers in the fetal position and never get out. But just because it's sad doesn't mean the state isn't doing the right thing by keeping her two remaining children safe. Obviously, this is a woman who is not capable of being trusted with children -- there's no other way to explain how she could have done what she did to her stepdaughter. The safety of those two little kids must come first. And if a jury finds this woman guilty, then she must pay the price for her unspeakable crime.

What do you think should happen to this woman's children?

 

Image via Etowah County Sheriff's Office

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