Reporting David Goldstein
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A CBS2 News Investigation has led to the surrender of a wedding photographer charged with stealing the memories of newlyweds.
Alan Brent Carruth plead no contest to grand theft Thursday with some of his victims present to witness him being led off to jail.
“What can you say to those couples whose lives you’ve ruined? Do you have any remorse,” I asked Carruth.
He did not answer. But using his walker, the 77-year-old wedding photographer was called to answer before Judge William Ryan, who did not hide his feelings.
“I think, Mr. Carruth, you are a man who learned how to rob people without a gun or a mask. And you took [from] these victims some of their most precious memories,” he said.
Carruth plead no contest to two counts of grand theft for stealing the memories of newlyweds.
Four years ago we went undercover to show how he pitched expensive wedding albums and either never delivered or produced poor quality pictures.
The city attorney’s office found more than 200 victims. Last August some came to court to speak out, like Mary Saxon, whose pictures she said are worthless.
“Tell me something, how are you going to give me my dreams back and my memories back. Tell me. You can’t do a repeat,” Saxon said.
Now with Saxon and her husband in the audience, two days shy of their sixth wedding anniversary, Carruth asked for forgiveness.
“I’d like to apologize to the people for not supplying their photographs in a timely manner. I spent so much time taking them, that I didn’t spend enough time supervising that the albums got done,” Carruth said.
But Judge William Ryan was not buying it. The wedding photographer was led away by sheriff’s deputies after being sentenced to 510 days in the county jail.
For the Saxon’s it was an anniversary present.
“This has been our gift, that justice has been served,” Saxon said.
“We’ll never get the albums back but at least we have closure,” he husband, Kyle, added.
Of course with jail overcrowding Carruth will spend far less than the 510 days, but for the victims, even one day gives them some satisfaction.