Ruling delayed on release of transcript in kidnapping case
PLACERVILLE, Calif. – A judge delayed a ruling Thursday on whether to release a grand jury transcript that contains testimony from a California woman whom prosecutors say was held for 18 years by a parolee and his wife.
The ruling by Judge Douglas Phimister came in response to a motion by several media organizations.
A defense lawyer had argued that releasing the “tale of terror” told by Jaycee Dugard would make it impossible to find an impartial jury.
Dugard was the star witness before the grand jury that indicted Phillip and Nancy Garrido in September. Dugard, however, has not appeared or testified at any public court hearings.
The Garridos are charged with kidnapping Dugard, now 30, in 1991 and keeping her and her two daughters fathered by Phillip Garrido hidden in a backyard compound until last year.
Nancy Garrido has pleaded not guilty. Her husband’s arraignment has been postponed pending completion of court-ordered psychiatric evaluations.
The Associated Press, The Sacramento Bee, the Hearst Corp., the Gannet Co. Inc., the Los Angeles Times and the Bay Area News Group asked Judge Phimister to unseal the documents.