Bail for Dugard kidnap suspect set at $30 million
PLACERVILLE – In a brief court hearing Monday morning, accused kidnapper Phillip Garrido’s bail was set at $30 million, although he has a parole hold that prevents him from being released from jail.
Attorney Gilbert Maines, who represents Garrido’s wife and co-defendant, Nancy Garrido, did not oppose her no-bail status, although he reserved the right to do so later.
Essentially, both Phillip and Nancy are currently not eligible to be released from custody. Both are being held at the El Dorado County jail.
Nancy, 54, and Phillip, 58, are accused of kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard from a South Lake Tahoe street 18 years ago. Dugard, now 29, was found by authorities on Aug. 26 in relatively good health.
Also on Monday, Phillip Garrido’s attorney, Susan Gellman, asked that Garrido undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Superior Court Judge Douglas Phimister granted the request. A psychiatric evaluation is potentially a first step in determining whether a defendant is mentally competent to stand trial.
Maines said he reserves the right to ask for a psychiatric evaluation for Nancy Garrido later.
El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson said after the court hearing, “That type of evaluation (a psychiatric evaluation) is very common in criminal cases. I wouldn’t read too much into that.”
In a press conference after the hearing, Pierson addressed speculation that parole officers may have failed in some way by not catching the Garridos sooner.
“Those are issues I’m confident will be addressed at the proper venue at the proper time. However, the actions of parole agent Eddie Santos on Aug. 26 and Aug. 27 can only be described as fully within the finest standards of law enforcement and public service. This parole agent broke through the elaborate, well-planned cover story that was 18 years in the making. We all owe him a debt of gratitude.”
On Aug. 26, Phillip Garrido brought a woman with him to a meeting with his parole officer. Garrido said the woman’s name was Allissa. But through intensive questioning, the parole officer discovered that the woman was Jaycee Dugard.
Pierson also addressed the media circus surrounding the case. On Monday alone there were dozens of media outlets inside the Placerville courtroom. The story has been the subject of international media attention, as details of what may have happened to Jaycee, and her two children, are made public.
“Everyone appreciates the desire to report the story fully to the public. However, basic human decency mandates honoring the family’s request for privacy, a request that we all must appreciate and respect. As Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘Let us all rise to the better angels of our nature,’ and leave this family alone during the time of reunification.”
The El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office is providing the Dugard family with victim services.
The Garridos face 28 felony charges including kidnapping for sexual purposes, rape, forcible abduction and false imprisonment by violence. They face multiple life sentences if convicted.
Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Dugard reportedly spent most of her life in a hidden backyard compound on the Garridos’ property in Antioch. The compound consisted of tents and sheds, according to authorities.
Dugard had two children with Phillip Garrido, authorities say – the first when she was about 14, authorities said.
El Dorado County Undersheriff Fred Kollar talked about what life may have been like for Dugard’s girls at an Aug. 27 press conference.
“None of the children had ever gone to school, they had never been to a doctor. They were kept in complete isolation in this compound … They were in relatively good physical condition (when they were found).
“(Dugard) was in good health (when she was found), but living in a back yard for 18 years does take its toll,” Kollar said.
Kollar also described the hidden back yard that kept Dugard and her children isolated for so many years.
“At the end of the back yard there’s a large fence … tall trees all along that fence; a dishwasher, a garbage can and other things back up along that fence. (There is) a tarp that hangs over the fence, (and) you have to pull the tarp aside and walk through … There was a secondary tarp that was screened from view from literally all around, only accessible through the small, narrow tarp.
“(Dugard) and her two children were living there in a series of sheds and tents. There was one tent entirely soundproof; it could only be opened from the outside … All of the (sheds) had electricity. There was a rudimentary outhouse and rudimentary shower, as if you were camping,” Kollar said.
The compelling Dugard story began to unfold on Aug. 24 when Phillip brought the two children – two girls ages 11 and 15 – to the University of California, Berkeley, campus, according to UC news reports. He went to the special events office to inquire about holding an event on campus for a group called “God’s Desire,” the reports state.
A UC officer made an appointment to speak with Garrido the next day, and meanwhile conducted a background check on him. It was discovered that Garrido was on lifetime parole for 1970s rape and kidnapping convictions. The next day two officers sat in on the interview with Garrido, who again brought the two girls with him. The officers, believing something was wrong or off about the relationship, called Phillip’s parole officer after the interview. The officers recommended that parole check in on Phillip, the reports state.
The following day, Wednesday, Aug. 26, Phillip did go to see his parole officer. He brought along with him the two girls, his wife Nancy and a woman he called Allissa, according to Kollar. The parole officer had never seen the two young girls or Allissa during home visits, and began to investigate, Kollar said. Upon further interrogation, it was revealed that Allissa was Jaycee Dugard.
“The Garridos had information that only the kidnappers would know,” Kollar said at the press conference.
Phillip and Nancy were arrested, and brought to El Dorado County on Thursday, Aug. 25.
Both are due back in court on Oct. 29.
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