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Garrido, wife will stay in jail until their trial

A judge rules that bail for the accused kidnapper of Jaycee Lee Dugard should be set at $30 million. But because of a parole violation, there's no chance he'd be released on bail.

September 15, 2009|Maria L. La Ganga

PLACERVILLE, CALIF. — The husband and wife accused of kidnapping Jaycee Lee Dugard 18 years ago, holding her captive and raping her will be held in jail until they stand trial in the next year or 18 months.

El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Douglas Phimister ruled Monday that bail for Phillip Garrido, 58, should be set at $30 million. But because the convicted sex offender is also on a so-called hold for violating parole, there is no chance he would be set free on bail.

In setting the high amount for Garrido's bail, Phimister said he considered "the protection of the public, the fact that Mr. Garrido was on parole at the time these events occurred allegedly, the seriousness of the charge and the fact that the court must consider the injuries to the victim."

He said he also took into account the long sentence Garrido and his wife could face if convicted and the possibility that Garrido might try to flee if freed.

Nancy Garrido, 54, will continue to be held without bail in El Dorado County Jail, which her attorney did not oppose.

The couple are charged with 29 felony counts of kidnapping and rape for allegedly snatching Dugard, then 11, from her South Lake Tahoe street as she walked to a bus stop in 1991 and holding her in a warren of tents and outbuildings behind their home near the Bay Area suburb of Antioch.

Dist. Atty. Vern Pierson said they face "multiple life sentences" if convicted.

Phimister also agreed Monday to defense attorney Susan Gellman's request that Garrido have a private psychiatric evaluation, presumably to consider the option of an insanity defense. Gilbert Maines, Nancy Garrido's counsel, held open the same option for his client.

During a news conference after the brief hearing -- in which the Garridos appeared in red jail garb -- Pierson also said that Dugard could be called to testify during the trial.

"Typically in every criminal case, because of the United States Constitution, the confrontation clause, ultimately the witnesses have to come into court to testify when the case comes to trial," Pierson said.

Pierson was asked about reports that Dugard -- whose daughters, 11 and 15, authorities believe were fathered by Garrido -- has agreed to appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in December.

"I have heard some comments about this family, basically referring to them as a piece of property to be had," Pierson responded in what essentially was a lengthy "no comment." "I think they need to be left alone for a little bit of time. Look at it from a human standpoint, what this family has been through."

Erika Schulte, a Dugard family spokeswoman, said that rumors of an appearance on Winfrey's show were untrue.

Pierson told reporters that because the investigation into the Garridos' alleged crimes is continuing, there is little that he can say now about the details of the case.

He made one exception: questions about Garrido's criminal history and parole supervision.

Garrido was convicted of kidnapping and pleaded guilty to rape in a separate 1976 attack. He was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for the former and received a life sentence in Nevada state prison for the latter but served only 11 years.

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maria.laganga@latimes.com

Times staff writer Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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