El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson said the guilty pleas can finally bring closure to Jaycee Dugard and her family, who he says have waited 20 years for justice.
Both Phillip and Nancy Garrido plead guilty to charges in connection with the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard Thursday in a hastily planned court hearing following a surprise plea deal.
As each count was read in court Thursday, Nancy Garrido replied "guilty." The judge explained that she was pleading guilty to the fact that the kidnapping was for the purpose of sex and that her potential sentence was 36 years to life. Following the pleas, she broke down in tears.
Then the judge turned to Phillip Garrido and his counts. Phillip also replied "guilty" to each count. Prosecutors said his plea deal calls for a sentence of more than 430 years to life.
KCRA reporter Mike Teselle was in the court. He said the victim in the case, Jaycee Dugard, was not in the courtroom Thursday.
Nancy Garrido's lawyer Stephen Tapson had said previously that his client would not plead guilty unless she was offered a better plea deal than the one on the table. That appears to have been worked out.
The Garridos are accused of kidnapping Dugard when she was 11 and holding her captive for 18 years in their Antioch, Calif., backyard.
Since a plea agreement was reached by both Nancy and Phillip Garrido, it allows Dugard and her two daughters, who were fathered by Phillip Garrido, to avoid having to testify in the case.
They will be given the opportunity to speak at the sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for June 2.
El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson said the guilty pleas can finally bring closure to Dugard and her family who he says have waited 20 years for justice.
"Were it not for Jaycee’s strong cooperation with our office and the prosecution of the Garridos, we would not have been able to firmly stand by our position to take this case to jury trial. Jaycee’s courage and willingness to confront her abductors in court directly led to the Defendants’ plea and life sentences," Pierson said in a statement.