Dugard kidnapper faces life in prison at sentencing

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 02, 2011 8:48 AM
Dugard kidnapper faces life in prison at sentencing

PLACERVILLE, Calif (Reuters) - The California man who kidnapped 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard in 1991 and held her captive for 18 years faces life behind bars when he is sentenced on Thursday.

Still unknown was whether Dugard, whose stunning rescue in 2009 at the age of 29 made international headlines, would address the court or even attend the sentencing hearing for Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy.

A spokeswoman for the El Dorado County District Attorney declined to comment on Dugard's plans.

Nancy Garrido's attorney, Stephen Tapson, said prosecutors had not told him who would be speaking during the hearing.

"That's the big mystery," Tapson said.

"I asked the District Attorney to tell me who's on the guest list and they didn't return my call so we don't know. I believe (Dugard's) mother will be there but other than that I don't know."

Phillip Garrido, 60, pleaded guilty on April 28 to kidnapping and multiple counts of sexual assault and faces a maximum sentence of 431 years to life in prison.

He has waived his right to appeal.

Nancy Garrido, 55, pleaded guilty in April to one count each of kidnapping and rape by force and faces 39 years to life in prison. Tapson said Nancy Garrido, who could be eligible for parole in 20 years, did not intend to address the court before she was sentenced.

"She has asked me to say a few words on her behalf," Tapson said. "My client is just scared. She knows what her sentence is going to be but she's never been in prison so she's apprehensive."

Prosecutors say the Garridos snatched Dugard from a street near her South Lake Tahoe home on June 10, 1991, as she walked to a school bus stop, and held her captive for nearly two decades.

Phillip Garrido fathered two girls with Dugard and kept all three concealed in a squalid compound of tents and sheds behind his Northern California home, authorities say.

They were rescued after Garrid aroused suspicions while proselytizing with the two girls on the University of California, Berkeley campus.

Dugard's family received a $20 million settlement in 2009 through a state victims' compensation fund.

The California inspector general found that state officials failed to properly supervise Garrido after his release from a 10-year prison term for a 1976 rape, overlooking a series of parole violations that should have led to his earlier capture.

(Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Jerry Norton)