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Garridos confess to police in Jaycee Dugard kidnapping and rape case [updated]

February 28, 2011 |  3:37 pm



The couple charged with kidnapping Jaycee Lee Dugard in 1991 and holding her captive for 18 years have confessed to police about the crime, an attorney for one of the defendants said Monday.

Phillip and Nancy Garrido are charged with kidnapping Dugard in a case that captured international attention when Dugard and her daughters were discovered in 2009 living in a ramshackle compound in the Garridos’ Antioch, Calif., backyard. Phillip Garrido, who is also charged with rape, is the father of Dugard’s children.

Stephen Tapson, an attorney for Nancy Garrido, said the couple confessed to the crime during a recent interview with detectives.

[Updated, 4:10 p.m.: After a brief hearing Monday afternoon, Tapson told reporters outside El Dorado County Superior Court that the couple confessed to the crimes because Phillip, 59, is hoping that his wife’s sentence will be reduced.

Currently, Tapson said, authorities here have offered Nancy a plea agreement that would put her behind bars for nearly 242 years to life and Phillip 440 years to life.

The couple have been charged with nearly 30 counts of kidnap, rape and false imprisonment. According to a grand jury indictment, Phillip videotaped some of the rapes.

“As far as being involved in any of the sexual stuff, she wasn’t,” Tapson said of his client. “She’s guilty, obviously, of kidnapping and a bunch of other charges .... She should be able to walk on the beach, probably with a walker, at some point in time before she dies.”]

A two-week jury trial on Phillip Garrido’s mental status was scheduled to begin Monday, but attorneys in the case agreed to allow Judge Douglas C. Phimister to determine Phillip Garrido’s competence instead.

Having reviewed reports from several psychologists who examined Phillip Garrido, Phimister ruled that the 59-year-old was "in fact competent to stand trial."

Susan Gellman, Phillip Garrido’s attorney, had earlier expressed concern about her client's mental state. But after several psychologists examined him and filed their reports, she said she was confident that he was competent to stand trial -- at this point.

The Garridos are being held in El Dorado County Jail.

-- Maria L. La Ganga in Placerville

Photo: Phillip Garrido in court. L.A. Times file.