Phillip Garrido is seen with his court appointed attorney, Susan Gellman, during his arraignment on 29 felony counts stemming from the abduction of Jaycee Dugard,11, in 1991, in the El Dorado Superior Court in Placerville, Calif., Friday, Aug. 28, 2009. Garrido pleaded not guilty on charges including forcible abduction, rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Convicted rapist Phillip Garrido has been declared mentally incompetent and therefore not able to stand trial -- at least for now -- in the kidnapping and rape case involving Jaycee Dugard.
Garrido was in court Friday for a comptetency hearing. His public defender, Susan Gellman, had expressed doubts in court about whether her client is mentally fit to stand trial.
El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Douglas Phimister said he made the decision after a short pretrial hearing for Phillip Garrido. Phimister said he based his decision on talks with Garrido's attorney and observing Garrido in court over the past few months.
Psychological reports on his mental competence are still pending.
Friday's hearing was scheduled after a closed-door session in the El Dorado County Superior Court. Sacramento-area TV station KCRA reported a grand jury issued indictments for the Garridos this week. If that's true, the case could move directly to trial without a preliminary hearing.
Garrido and his wife, Nancy, are charged with kidnapping Jaycee Dugard from her South Lake Tahoe neighborhood in 1991 and holding her captive in backyard compund on their Antioch-area property for nearly 20 years. They face 29 counts of kidnapping, rape and false imprisonment in the case. They have been held at a Placerville jail for more than a year in connection with the s cafse.