SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An attorney in the case of a Northern California girl held captive for 18 years said Monday he expects defendant Phillip Garrido to plead guilty to all charges and his wife to go to trial unless she gets a better plea deal.
Lawyer Stephen Tapson, who represents defendant Nancy Garrido, said her husband will likely make the guilty plea on Thursday at a pretrial conference.
“Unless some hitch develops, I’m 99 percent sure Phil will `plead to the sheet’ and possibly be sentenced at the same time if (the) judge has figured out the correct number of hundreds of years,” Tapson said, explaining he learned of the development from discussions with a lawyer for Phillip Garrido and the prosecutor in the case.
Public defender Susan Gellman, who represents Phillip Garrido, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson declined to comment.
The Garridos are each charged with 18 felony counts of false imprisonment, rape and child pornography.
They are accused of kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard and holding her captive until their arrest in August 2009.
Attorneys on all sides had said they wanted to avoid trial so Dugard did not have to testify, but that now seems unlikely, Tapson said.
“Nancy never wanted her to have to testify,” said Tapson. “She said that long ago and wanted a reasonable sentence, which the district attorney has rejected now.”
Tapson said the initial offer to his 55-year-old client was 40 to 50 years in prison, which meant she could likely get out after 30 years.
But prosecutor Pierson has said Tapson’s comments asking for compassion for Nancy Garrido were offensive.
Phillip Garrido’s maximum sentence in the case would be 563 years to life.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)