Lawyers say suspects, Dugard ‘acted as a family’ | NevadaAppeal.com

Lawyers say suspects, Dugard ‘acted as a family’

LISA LEFF
Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO – The Northern California couple charged with abducting and raping Jaycee Dugard are parental figures in a close, caring family who deserve in-jail visits with each other, a defense attorney said Friday.

Deputy Public Defender Susan Gellman, who represents Phillip Garrido, said he and Nancy Garrido want to discuss how their decisions in the criminal case affect Dugard and her daughters.

“What I’m saying is they raised these kids as their kids, and whatever decision they make with how they are going to proceed in this case, whether they go to trial or don’t go to trial, is going to affect these kids,” Gellman said.

Motions filed Thursday by attorneys representing both suspects said Phillip Garrido stopped having sexual contact with Dugard “sometime around the birth of the second child” she bore him in November 1997.

Eventually, “all five held themselves out to be a family,” the documents state.

Gellman wrote in a declaration that they took vacations and ran a family business together, as the children were home-schooled.

“They kept pets and had a garden. They took care of an ailing family member together. They had special names for each other,” Gellman wrote.

The Garridos were arrested in late August and charged with kidnapping and raping Dugard and confining her in their backyard for 18 years.

Dugard’s daughters, now 15 and 12, thought Nancy Garrido was their mother and Dugard was their sister until the Garridos were arrested and Dugard, now 29, “told them she had been kidnapped and raped by their father,” Gellman wrote.

In her court filing, Gellman said the Garridos are allowed outside of their segregated cells for an hour a day. They remain shackled and handcuffed and have only been visited by their lawyers.

She contended they do not pose a security risk and are entitled to receive the same two-weekly visits as other pretrial detainees.

Phillip and Nancy Garrido have pleaded not guilty to snatching Dugard off a South Lake Tahoe street when she was 11, raping her and confining her and the daughters she gave birth to when she was 14 and 17 to a hidden compound in the backyard of their Antioch home.

Their bail is $30 million and $20 million, respectively,

Stephen Tapson, Nancy Garrido’s court-appointed lawyer, said he and Gellman also filed papers to force prosecutors to tell them where Dugard is living and if she has a lawyer.

They want to speak with her while preparing defenses for the Garridos.

Gellman also is asking an El Dorado County judge to force the district attorney to turn over photographs of Dugard’s daughters and videos of interviews the three have given to authorities.

Dugard had been represented by McGregor Scott, a former U.S. attorney in Sacramento, but he is no longer handling her case

“We want the district attorney to tell us where she is or give us somebody to talk to so we can talk to her, but we can’t compel her to,” Tapson said. “She can tell us to pound sand.”

A hearing on the motions was scheduled for Feb. 26.

Associated Press Writer Brooke Donald contributed to this report.