This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," March 17, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: At this hour, Scott Peterson (search) is alone in a windowless cell at San Quentin. He was moved to America’s most notorious prison during a heavily guarded transfer in the middle of the night.
All right, let’s bring in Vernell Crittendon, public information officer for San Quentin (search). Vernell, we’ve just looked at the same tape apparently twice. At least, that’s what it seems like to me. We’ve looked at it twice. In terms of the transfer of Scott Peterson at 3:00 a.m. California time, is there anything unusual about that transfer? Is this what’s done on — with the transfer of death row prisoners?
VERNELL CRITTENDON, SAN QUENTIN PRISON SPOKESPERSON: No, actually, we would normally transport some time between, oh, 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM to the institution. But based on the high notoriety that he had received by the media, we felt that it would be best to ensure that we didn’t create an unsafe condition out there in the public by having the media advertising the move happening as it’s happening, where thousands of citizens may have shown up and assembled along that — that traffic pattern that we were carrying.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. He left Redwood City about 3:00 a.m., and it’s under a two-hour drive to San Quentin. Is that a fair estimate?
CRITTENDON: Yes, he arrived at San Quentin at 4:05 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, and then we began to put him through the process of preparing him for death row.
VAN SUSTEREN: Before he gets actually into death row, are you — I’ve been there with you. He goes into an administrative area to classify him. About how long did it take from the minute he hit San Quentin for him to get finally a cell where he will remain for about four weeks?
CRITTENDON: Oh, he was inside of that cell environment a little after five o’clock. About 10 minutes after 5:00 a.m., we were able to have him secured inside of his cell there on death row.
VAN SUSTEREN: Were you there when he arrived?
CRITTENDON: Most certainly I was there and I was accompanying and overseeing the entire process.
VAN SUSTEREN: How do you describe his mood or demeanor? I realize it’s in the middle of the night but how do you describe how he appeared?
CRITTENDON: Well, he initially had on a face of calm but you could quickly see that there was this veil of nervousness about him as he was attempting to greet the various employees as he went through the various stations with a "Good morning," a "How are you?" There was this occasional nervous smile that you would see occur as we put him through the various process.
VAN SUSTEREN: And in terms of his cooperation, I mean from what you describe he was cooperative, right?
CRITTENDON: Oh, he was very cooperative, very polite. He spoke in a very subdued voice, a non-threatening voice as he responded to the staff’s inquiries regarding, for example, his medical interview to ensure that he had no medical conditions that we needed to be aware of.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So, he’ll spend the next about four weeks in this administrative area. How big is the cell he’ll be in?
CRITTENDON: He’ll be spending the next four to eight weeks in a cell that’s about 41 square feet of space and it has a solid metal door that goes across the front of that cell environment.
He’ll be in there alone and he’ll eat all of his meals in there alone. He’ll also shower alone and he’ll be sent out three times a week for a maximum of four hours to a small enclosure that we have built that he’ll exercise alone, as all of the new arriving death row inmates (search) experience.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Vernell, thank you very much for joining us once again.
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