Behind-The-Scenes at the Garrido Sentencing 6-2-2011

Published On June 4, 2011 | By Mike Carroll | Shooting News

Cameramen from across northern California lined up shooting statements by attorneys in the Phillip and Nancy Garrido case after the sentencing hearing.

Thursday, June 2, 2011. Call time 6 AM. The El Dorado County Courthouse in Placerville, California. The sentencing of Phillip and Nancy Garrido in abduction of Jaycee Dugard twenty years ago in 1991.


Days like this are big. Everyone’s there. Everything’s coordinated. It was very complex, yet went amazingly smooth. And everyone got along. You’re a part of a small army of people, all with their jobs mapped out – we literally had a map of where each person was supposed to be. Everything is completely planned out and you’re ready to go – then at the last minute you get a buzz in an audio cable and then the attorneys for the case start filing out of the courthouse for their interviews.

Steve Tapson, attorney for Nancy Garrido, briefs the media after her sentencing.

KCRA photographer John Breedlove preps his camera for a noon live shot.


KCRA Photographer John Breedlove checking in with the tech center about his live shot.

Tech Center: Yes, John, we don’t see Walt Gray!

John: No he isn’t here yet.

Tech Center: We need to see Walt now! He’s the lead of the noon news!!!

John: But it’s only 10:55.

Tech Center: ….We’ll get back to you…

KNTV reporter Jodi Hernandez forever on their phone to producers in the newsroom.

Reporter Ken Pritchett, former KCRA reporter, getting last minute calls from his producers.

The only reporter who wasn't being bothered by calls from the newsroom. Maybe she was smart and threw her phone away.


Me working in cognito. As a photographer you want to be able to disappear into a scene so that no one notices you. Where ever I go, people look away. This is the key to my success: I’m invisible.

KCRA anchor Walt Gray in front of my camera for the 5 O'Clock KCRA 3 Reports.

Producer: What are they doing coming out now!

Walt Gray: I’m live in one minute. What do you want me to do?

Producer: They’re not supposed to be out for fifteen minutes!

Walt Gray: I guess court wrapped up early. I’m live in 45 seconds. What do you want me to do?

Producer: I’ve got a fantastic open all pre-assembled.

Walt Gray: They’re stepping up to the podium. The DA’s about to start.

Producer: He can only go for five minutes, then I’ve got a chronology of the case.

Walt Gray: You want me to tell an attorney how long he’s allowed to talk? I’m live in 15 seconds. What do you want me to do?

Producer: Okay, do whatever you think. But I’m putting together a graphic – if Philip Garrido going up the river for 430 years, when will he be eligible for parole?

Walt Gray: Good afternoon. I’m Walt Gray Live outside the El Dorado County Courthouse…

KOVR Chief Photographer Cecil Houston operating live camera on anchor Sam Shane, both former KCRA alumni.

KCRA Chief Photographer Mike Rhinehart and reporter David Bienick, who were both in the courtroom during sentencing, editing the 5 o’clock lead story. These are two of our best collaborators – it takes them only four hours to edit a one-minute and fifteen second story.

Me: No, no, no, Mike – you hit this button, not that button.

Mike Rhinehart: What happens if I hit “that” button?

Me: You delete the whole project.

Mike Rhinehart: Hmmm… Now you tell me.

Walt Gray interviews Susan Gellman, Phillip Garrido's defense attorney.

In her post-sentencing press conference Susan Gellman, Philip Garrido’s defense attorney, said that she  thought his sentence of 430 years in prison “was excessive.”

Then I called a question out to her, live on-the-air: “You think that 430 years is excessive for a man who kidnapped an 11 year-old girl for 18 years and repeatedly raped her. You don’t think that’s excessive?”

“Well… I just think anything over 250 years is a little excessive.”



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About The Author

Mike Carroll joined the digital revolution in 1999 with a Sony TRV900 camcorder and Final Cut Pro, when it was only Final Cut Pro and not version 2, 4 or a Suite.

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