Sacto 9-1-1
June 2, 2011
Phillip Garrido sentenced to life in prison; victim statements pour out emotion

RP GARRIDO AND ATTORNEYS.JPG

Nancy and Phillip Garrido, with their attorneys, Stephen Tapson (front left) and Susan Gellman (back left), listen to testimony from Jaycee's mother, Terry Probyn (not pictured). Photo by Randy Pench.

By Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

Read the grand jury transcripts released today.


In a searing court session this morning, Phillip and Nancy Garrido were sentenced to prison for the kidnap of Jaycee Lee Dugard after her mother and others berated the couple for their crimes.

In the nearly two hours it took to recite the criminal behavior, Phillip Garrido showed absolutely no emotion and looked downward the entire time Dugard's mother, Terry Probyn, addressed him.

Dugard had been expected to speak but instead chose to have her mother read a statement saying she never wanted to see the Garridos again or waste another breath thinking of them.

El Dorado Superior Court Judge Douglas Phimister sentenced Phillip Garrido to 431 years to life and Nancy Garrido to 36 years to life.

He refused a request that the defendants be allowed one more meeting before they were shipped off to prison, and he sternly refused to allow Nancy Garrido to stay in the courtroom while her 60-year-old husband was sentenced.

She was escorted out with one quick glance at her husband, and then the judge turned his attentions to Phillip Garrido.

"This court has imposed tens of thousands of sentences in criminal cases," he told Garrido. "You fall into a special category in this court. ...

"This it probably the third case where I've sentenced someone where I am of the view that you lack a soul. What you did to this child is beyond horrible."

Phimister's statements came after tearful victim-impact statements read by Dugard's mother and aunt.

Throughout that process, Nancy Garrido attempted to look directly at Dugard's relatives, sometimes crying but opting to look them in the eyes.

Her husband, seated behind her in the top row of the jury box, never glanced up.

Tina Dugard, maternal aunt to Jaycee Dugard, recounted how her own mother died one year after Jaycee's abduction.

"My mother died of a broken heart," she said.

"Losing Jaycee was devastating and she just couldn't stand it."

Jaycee's mother spared nothing in the statement she read to the Garridos.

Standing at a lectern at the center of courtroom with a box of tissues under the microphone, Probyn remembered giving birth to Jaycee May 3, 1980, calling her "a true miracle and a gift from God."

She told Garrido of the pain and anger she felt after he took her daughter and of the questions she asked herself night after night.

"Where is she?" she said. "Is she cold? Is she hungry? Is she hurt?

"My baby was gone and all my dreams turned to nightmares."

Then she turned directly to the Garridos in the jury box. "It was you, Nancy Garrido, and it was you, Phillip Garrido, who broke my heart.

"You took something that didn't belong to you. You took my baby. I hate you both."

As one of the many courtroom bailiffs stood fighting back tears, Probyn added, "You are nothing other than selfish, self-serving, self-gratifying monsters," she said.

Nancy Garrido stared directly at her. Her husband didn't.

Then Probyn read a statement from Jaycee Dugard in which she said, "I chose not to be here today because I didn't want to waste another second of my life in your presence.

"Everything you have ever done to me is wrong," her statement said. "What you and Nancy did to me was reprehensible.

"There is no God in the universe that would condone your actions."

After the victims had spoken Stephen Tapson, Nancy Garrido's attorney, read a statement from her in which she said, "I am guilty as charged.

"Being sorry is not enough. Words cannot express remorse for what I did," he read.

Later, as Phillip Garrido was being sentenced, attorney Susan Gellman said her client was sorry for what he had done.

"He has accepted responsibility for his actions and he has done so without any expectations of leniency," Gellman said.

She added that she believed "the court is overlooking significant mental health issues in this case."

But the judge wasn't buying any of it.

Phimister acknowledged that Garrido may have "some problems" but he added that he was "truly disturbed" by a finding in a probation report from this month that found Garrido has a "low or moderate risk as a sexual predator."

"I think that Mr. Garrido qualifies as a poster child as a sexual predator," the judge said.

Garrido's 1976 rape and kidnap victim sat in a front row, watching as she has for most of the last two years. She was not allowed to speak, but said after court that she was pleased with the outcome of the case.

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