The man charged with abducting her when she was 11 is a "master manipulator," say prosecutors

By Howard Breuer
February 24, 2010 10:30 AM
Nick Ut/AP; El Dorado County Sheriffs Office/Reuters/AP

Jaycee Dugard believes the man charged with abducting her when she was 11 has been sending her coded messages, including a warning that she’s not following instructions he laid out in case he were caught, according to new court documents.

Pretrial defense motions to be heard Friday in California’s El Dorado Superior Court portray defendants Phillip and Nancy Garrido, Jaycee, 29, and the two young daughters Phillip Garrido fathered with Jaycee during the 18 years she lived in his Antioch, Calif., backyard as a family torn apart by the Garridos’ arrests six months ago, and ask the judge to allow the Garridos to see each other in jail and for Jaycee’s address.

Opposition motions by the district attorney and the county sheriff say Jaycee doesn’t want the Garridos to know where she and her girls are hiding, and portray Phillip Garrido as a “master manipulator” who appears to be sending Jaycee “coded messages” through the media and would do worse if he could meet with his wife before trial.

The motion written on behalf of El Dorado County Sheriff Manfred Kollar says the Garridos have no right to see each other while they’re in jail awaiting trial, and balks at the suggestion that the Garridos need to meet to discuss “family decisions.”

“In the circumstances of this case, where the alleged ‘family’ was created by 29 felony counts of kidnapping, false imprisonment and rape, the Garridos’ invocation of the sanctity of the ‘family’ is breathtaking in its audacity,” writes chief assistant county counsel Edward Knapp on behalf of Kollar. The Garridos have pleaded not guilty.
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Sent a Warning

Knapp also writes that the county suspects that Phillip Garrido wants to meet with his wife “so that he can influence her testimony in the upcoming trial,” much as he appears to be trying to manipulate Jaycee through coded messages.

“Since he cannot contact her directly, he is using alternate means,” Knapp says. “Through the media he claimed that [Jaycee’s] rights were being violated because she did not have an attorney – a cryptic way to remind her to start using his pre-arranged communication scheme using lawyers. Furthermore, he told the media that his story was “heartwarming,” which could also be interpreted as a coded message to his victim to follow the prearranged story that they were a happy family.”

“Most chillingly,” Knapp adds, “he sent the coded message to his victim that ‘he does not harbor any ill will’ toward her,” which Jaycee understood to be “a warning that she was not following his prearranged plan.”
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Not Family, But ‘Victims’

A defense motion filed Feb. 5 by Garrido attorney Susan Gellman says the Garridos “are co-defendants who need to prepare their case. Additionally, they have numerous decisions to make which will strongly impact the people they have known and treated as family for the last 11 years.”

An opposition motion by Deputy District Attorney James Clinchard says that after the Garridos abducted Jaycee and brought her back to their Antioch home, “she was sexually assaulted and imprisoned for the next 18 years. She was kept in one of the backyard buildings as a prisoner for one and a half years and did not even leave the backyard for the first four years after her abduction. She was impregnated by Phillip Garrido when she was 13 and had her first child at the age of 14. She was again impregnated by Phillip Garrido when she was 16 and had her second child at the age of 17.”

The prosecutor writes that the Garridos and Jaycee and her daughters were not one happy family “but were in fact captives – they were victims.”

In comments to the media, Gellman says her requests are routine and the prosecution’s strong reaction is disingenuous.

“I am not the tool of any man,” Gellman says.