It looks like it may take a long time for justice to be served in the Jaycee Dugard kidnapping case. In what is being reported as a shocking twist in the case Philip Garrido, the convicted sex offender accused of kidnapping and holding Jaycee captive for 18 years, pleaded not guilty on Thursday in a Placerville, Calif. court.
Garrido’s lawyer challenged the composition of the grand jury that indicted him and his wife last fall, the New York Times reports. Garrido had been expected to plead guilty to all counts after a lawyer for his wife, Nancy, indicated that a plea deal had been reached.
Today, however the case took a turn when Garrido instead plead not guilty, and his lawyer, Susan Gellman, admonished his wife Nancy’s lawyer, Stephen Tapson, for speaking out about the case.
“I would say that he should speak for his client,” Gellman said, via NYT, to reporters outside the El Dorado County courthouse, adding that “there was no offer on the table.”
Last month, Mr. Tapson reported — which has been believed to be accurate — that the Garridos had confessed to their crimes, which included raping and kidnapping Jaycee when she was 11 years off her South Lake Tahoe Street in 1991.
Jaycee is now 30 with two children —Starlet, 16, and Angel, 12 — both of whom were fathered by Phillip.
Her daughters, who are described as “polite” and “well mannered,” grew up believing Nancy was their mom, but Jaycee’s stepfather Carl Probyn recently told OK! that with therapists’ help the girls have now learned the truth and are doing as well as can be expected.
“A whole team of therapists is helping and protecting them,” says Carl.
Jaycee and her two daughters were rescued in August 2009 from the Garridos’ house in Antioch, Calif. A hidden fort-like area was found behind their house which enforcement officials believed to be where Jaycee and her children were sometimes held.
The judge presiding over the case, Douglas C. Phimister, accepted the not guilty pleas on Thursday from both Philip and Nancy Garrido, and set a trial date for August, according to the NYT.