PLACER COUNTY—Phillip and Nancy Garrido may not be tried for the Jaycee Lee Dugard kidnapping as attorneys for both defendants examine their options.
Phillip Garrido postponed a plea in the case at a Thursday hearing, while the attorney for his wife Nancy, Steven Tapson, tried to arrange a face to face meeting for the couple to discuss a possible outcome. Tapson said both admitted to the kidnapping and rape charges in a meeting with investigators last month.
Tapson said his client faces 180 years in prison despite her admission of guilt. "I'm waiting for something from heaven to save us all…not likely," said Tapson.
Phillip Garrido's defense attorney, Susan Gellman, confirmed Tapson's view that Garrido confessed to the crimes to make it easier on his wife Nancy. Gellman said there was no plea deal on the table, although she said she hoped there would be no trial. Her client faces a possible 563 years in prison.
But Gellman said the reality is that Phillip Garrido won't ever be a free man again after serving time for kidnap and rape in Nevada.
"He's still on parole in the state of Nevada, so he would be spending the rest of his life in prison in any event, so this is an academic exercise to that extent," said Gellman.
Tapson has contended that Nancy Garrido was like a surrogate mother and protector to Jaycee and her two daughters fathered by Phillip while Jaycee was held captive.
But prosecutor Vern Pierson said today that Jaycee and her mother Terry Probyn disagreed strongly.
"Jaycee as well as her mother Terry were very understandably offended by the (comments) … those were offensive comments," said Pierson.
Jim Hall, the husband of Phillip Garrido's Nevada kidnap and rape victim Katie Callaway-Hall, was in court observing Thursday. He said Nancy deserves a life term because she participated in the kidnapping by pulling Jaycee into Garrido's car.
"She should stay in jail for the rest of her life, just for what she did the very first day," said Hall.
"She kept her in a tents in the back caged, made her have children in the back, you know it's nonsense that she even thinks of herself as a mom," added Hall.
Court proceedings were postponed until April 7th to give attorneys time to sort out the 18 felony counts and enhancements. The prosecutors and defense attorneys say they hope to avoid a trial by reaching a settlement, but there is no guarantee that will happen.
"We're prepared to go to trial next week if that's the way this turns out," said Pierson.