Almost 20 years to the day after they kidnapped 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard off a street near South Lake Tahoe, Phillip and Nancy Garrido will face justice today.
The Garridos, who have become synonymous with depravity to people worldwide, are scheduled to be sentenced today to prison terms that virtually ensure neither will walk free again.
Phillip Garrido, a lifelong sexual predator and drug abuser who is now 60, is to be sentenced to 431 years to life. His 55-year-old wife will be sentenced to 36 years to life and will not be eligible for parole for 31 years.
The sentencing by El Dorado Superior Court Judge Douglas Phimister is to be conducted before a courtroom packed with media ranging from television network cameras to the New York Times to People magazine waiting to see if, by chance, Dugard chooses to appear before the court.
"I'm still waiting to hear whether Jaycee will be coming or not," Stephen Tapson, Nancy Garrido's attorney, said Wednesday. "I'd like to be able to alert my client as to how many people are going to be calling her 'evil.' "
Tapson said his client is scared and that she wants him to speak for her in court. He added that he believes it is doubtful Phillip Garrido will make a statement, but predicting the twists in this case has always been difficult.
The couple pleaded guilty in April to the June 10, 1991, abduction of Dugard, who was snatched off a street near her Meyers home as she walked toward a school bus stop. She disappeared for 18 years, and became a sex slave to Phillip Garrido for part of that time at his Antioch home.
"She was imprisoned in a backyard building with deplorable conditions," El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson said in court papers filed last week. "She was repeatedly raped for years. Her mother did not know she was alive for years."
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