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Garridos plead not guilty in Jaycee Dugard kidnapping case

By Michael Martinez and Jean Casarez, CNN
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Lawyer: Garridos confess to kidnapping
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Phillip and Nancy Garrido plead not guilty in kidnapping and rape case
  • Garrido and his wife are accused of snatching Jaycee Dugard when she was 11
  • Nancy Garrido entered not-guilty pleas last year, but re-entered them Thursday
  • Phillip Garrido is accused of fathering two daughters with Dugard during her captivity

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Phillip and Nancy Garrido pleaded not guilty Thursday to all 18 charges relating to the kidnapping and rape of a young California girl who was held captive from age 11 through 29, according to the El Dorado County Superior Court and an attorney.

Phillip Garrido earlier had been expected to enter a plea deal, but it was canceled Thursday, his wife's attorney, Stephen Tapson, said during a news conference.

Garrido and his wife, Nancy, are accused of snatching Jaycee Dugard when she was 11 and keeping her captive in a compound in Antioch, California. Nancy Garrido had pleaded "not guilty" last year, but she had to re-enter the same pleas Thursday because the indictment against her was amended, Tapson told CNN.

Phillip Garrido had been expected to plead guilty to all but two counts against him during a court hearing Thursday morning, Tapson said earlier.

Garrido decided against pleading guilty because his attorney might challenge the indictment, Tapson said.

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A criminal complaint against the Garridos could proceed, but the legality of the indictment against them is apparently going to be contested, Tapson said.

Phillip Garrido is facing at least 18 counts, including kidnapping, rape and false imprisonment, according to court documents.

Dugard was snatched from the street in front of her home in South Lake Tahoe, California, in 1991. Authorities found her in 2009.

Phillip Garrido, a registered sex offender on parole at the time of his arrest, is accused of fathering two daughters with Dugard during her captivity.

Garrido's attorney, Susan Gellman, could not be reached for comment.

Tapson said Nancy Garrido confessed that she was involved in the kidnapping but denies she had anything to do with the sex crimes.

Nancy Garrido had been offered a plea deal but it "evaporated," Tapson said.

Under the plea deal, Nancy Garrido was offered a prison sentence of about 40 years with the potential of being released sooner, Tapson said.

The family of Jaycee Dugard approved Nancy Garrido's plea deal, Tapson said.

But then detectives questioned Nancy Garrido about other California children who went missing the same time that Phillip Garrido was living in northern California, Tapson said.

Nancy Garrido said she had no information, and the plea deal was withdrawn, Tapson said.

Authorities have wanted to question Nancy Garrido because her husband has been a lead suspect in the case of 9-year-old Michaela Garecht, who disappeared in 1988 in Hayward, California.

That case was profiled in February on HLN's "Nancy Grace America's Missing," during which the lead detective, Rob Lampkin of the Hayward Police Department, said that Phillip Garrido was their top suspect in the girl's disappearance.

Lampkin said Garrido lived in a halfway house about 20 minutes from a market parking lot where Michaela was abducted. Also on the show, the girl's mother said she believed Nancy Garrido could provide answers to what happened to her daughter.

Jean Casarez is a correspondent for truTV's "In Session"

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