Nearly 20 years after abducting an 11-year-old girl from her street in South Lake Tahoe, Phillip and Nancy Garrido were sentenced for their crimes.
Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped in 1991, and held captive for 18 years before she was discovered. The couple pleaded guilty in April.
Dugard’s aunt and mother read impact statements during Thursday’s sentencing hearing. Jaycee’s statement explained why she herself did not attend, “I chose not to be here because I don't want to waste another second in your presence”.
Nancy’s attorney, Stephen Tapson said Jaycee’s mom and aunt read a statement from Jaycee and her sister, who was only a young child when Jaycee was kidnapped. In the statement Dugard’s family called the Garrido’s some “awful things”.
According to Tapson, Nancy’s statement to the court and Dugard was remorseful, “Every time I look in the mirror I don’t like what I see … I can give you an explanation but they will sound like an excuse, and there is no excuse … “ for what she did. Tapson repeated Nancy’s position during the captivity as a mother-figure to Dugard; delivering her children and caring for them. Nancy was sentenced to 36 years to life in prison.
Phillip was sentenced to 431 years to life. He was eligible for around 590 years, but the judge decided to stay within the plea deal and sentenced Phillip to 431. During the nearly hour-long proceeding, the judge said Garrido was the “poster child for sexual predator” and he “redefined the word ‘slavery’”.
His lawyer, Susan Gellman said Phillip never, ever wanted to go to trial, “he did what he did today for her (Dugard),you know, he entered this plea for her so she wouldn’t have to go through a trial.” Gellman went on to say “He (Phillip) acknowledged his guilt, he admitted what he did was wrong, of course there is remorse.”
Phillip had a competency hearing earlier in the proceedings. Gellman said “Phillip never ever, ever wanted to go to trial. The only confusion he had, he had confusion about who witnesses would be and what the trial would be about, and that’s what the competency hearing was about. But he never wanted to go to trial.”
Katie Callaway Hall, who was raped Phillip Garrido in Reno in the 1970’s, attended Thursday’s sentencing. She did not attend the sentencing for her own case, where Phillip got sentenced to life. He only served 11 years of that sentence.
Hall was hoping to make a victim impact statement at the sentencing on the Dugard charges, but the El Dorado County Judge recently decided not to let her make a statement. She told the media outside the courtroom she hopes Phillip “rots in hell”.
Attorneys for Phillip and Nancy arrived at the El Dorado County courthouse in Placerville Thursday morning. Susan Gellman, who represents Phillip Garrido, shouted at the waiting media as she passed by, “My fifteen minutes are over people”; a reference to the intense media coverage this case has gotten.
Phillip Garrido was arrested for an unrelated crime in August 2009 in Berkeley. After more digging by detectives, Jaycee told officers who she was and that she had been kidnapped.
An investigation uncovered deplorable living conditions at the Garrido’s Antioch home, and a tent-room in the backyard where Jaycee and her two daughters were living. Investigators say the two daughters were fathered by Garrido.
Dugard was reunited with her family, and plans to release a biography of her experience later this summer called “A Stolen Life”.