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Garridos plead guilty in Jaycee Dugard kidnapping

By Michael Martinez, CNN
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Garridos plead guilty in court
  • Phillip and Nancy Garrido pleaded guilty to kidnapping and sexual assault
  • Their sentence will be life in prison, the prosecutor says
  • They abducted Jaycee Dugard when she was 11 in 1991
  • Phillip Garrido fathered two daughters with Dugard during her 18-year captivity

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Phillip and Nancy Garrido pleaded guilty Thursday to the kidnapping and sexual assault of Jaycee Dugard, whom they held captive from age 11 through 29, the El Dorado County, California, district attorney said.

Both Garridos will receive life in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for June 2, District Attorney Vern Pierson said in a statement.

Through a representative, Dugard, now 30, expressed relief that her abductors "confessed."

"I'm relieved that Phillip and Nancy Garrido have finally acknowledged their guilt and confessed to their crimes against me and my family," Dugard said in a statement released by her representatives at Nancy Seltzer & Associates, Inc., in Los Angeles.

The married couple abducted Dugard when she was 11, and they held her in a hidden compound on their home's grounds in Antioch, California.

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.

"The enormity of the defendants' actions has caused tremendous pain and suffering to Jaycee, her mother, Terry Probyn, and their family," Pierson said in a statement.

"With a guilty plea by both defendants, Terry, Jaycee and her children can now be spared the grief and trauma of having to be dragged into the court process to testify at a jury trial," Pierson said.

"Additionally, 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 added in his statement.

California law doesn't provide for a death penalty or a life sentence without possibility of parole for the offenses committed by the Garridos, Pierson said.

Phillip Garrido, 60, pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping and 13 counts of sexual assault, Pierson said. He faces a maximum possible sentence of 431 years to life in prison and he has waived his right to appeal, Pierson said.

Nancy Garrido, 55, pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping, one count of rape by force, and to California's "one strike" rape law, Pierson said.

She will be sentenced to the negotiated disposition of life in prison, Pierson said. She will receive a 25-years-to-life sentence under the "one strike" rape law, plus 11 years, which is the maximum possible sentence for the kidnapping charges based upon the sentencing laws in 1991, Pierson said.

Nancy Garrido also has waived her right to appeal, prosecutors said. Her plea was offered contingent upon Phillip Garrido pleading guilty and waiving his right to appeal, prosecutors said.