Released trial transcripts tell of Dugard's ordeal with Garridos

The Sacramento BeeJune 3, 2011 

It was the last week of fifth grade, back in 1991, when Jaycee Lee Dugard left her home for the school bus stop, walking toward the oncoming traffic as her stepfather had taught her.

The towheaded 11-year-old was halfway to the bus stop when she heard a car approaching from behind.

"And I didn't think it was weird at the time, but it kind of pulled in close to me," she recalled last September during secret testimony. "And I thought he was going to ask for directions because he started to say something."

Instead, Dugard said, she was hit with a stun gun, dragged into the back seat and driven away.

"And I heard voices in the front, and the man said, 'I can't believe we got away with it,' " she said, "and he started laughing."

This is the firsthand account of one of the most notorious child abductions in the nation's history, recounted by Dugard in her own words during her testimony before a secret El Dorado County grand jury last September.

Portions of the testimony were released Thursday by court order, providing the first glimpse into Dugard's memories of the day Phillip and Nancy Garrido came cruising through the South Lake Tahoe area looking for a victim.

El Dorado Superior Court Judge Douglas Phimister described it as "shopping for a victim" when he sent the Garridos off to prison Thursday morning for kidnapping and raping Dugard and holding her hostage for 18 years.

"What was the conversation in the car?" Phimister mused aloud as he sentenced Phillip Garrido, 60, to 431 years to life and Nancy Garrido, 55, to 36 years to life.

"Should we select this one?" he imagined the Garridos saying. "Should we choose that one? What are we looking for …?

"You basically went shopping for a child to steal. You brought blankets to cover her up."

The Garridos' sentencing and release of the grand jury transcript marked the end of a criminal case that has captured worldwide attention since Dugard was found alive in August 2009.

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