After negotiations opened for a possible plea deal with Nancy and Phillip Garrido, defense lawyer Stephen Tapson told reporters the couple confessed to the crimes in the past month, with Dugard present for at least one meeting.
The hope was to get leniency for Nancy.
The district attorney's proposal is for 400 years in prison for Phillip, and 241 years for Nancy, prompting Tapson to reach out to Dugard through the media to ask her to call him. Tapson was thinking more like 20 to 30 years.
"I'm curious as to whether or not you think that 241 years, eight months to life is appropriate for Nancy," said Tapson, Nancy Garrido's attorney.
Dugard was just 11 years old when she was snatched from her South Lake Tahoe neighborhood. She was not discovered until 18 years later, living in the couple's backyard compound raising the two daughters Phillip Garrido already admitting fathering with her.
Tapson says Nancy deserves mercy.
"She was their mother after the kids were born. She delivered the kids. She fed them, took them places. I mean, they had that kind of relationship," said Tapson. "As far as actually being involved in any of the sexual stuff, she wasn't."
Tapson says Nancy is guilty of actually taking Dugard, but doesn't deserve to spend the rest of her life in prison, and that she had no criminal record until she was under Phillip's control.
"She's guilty obviously of kidnapping and a bunch of other charges. But I think at least based on what happened, after all the stuff started to become the bizarre family, that she should be able to at least walk on the beach, probably with a walker, at some point in time before she dies," said Tapson.
Eyewitness News has also learned that Dugard watched Nancy's tearful confession from across the table.
Dugard remains in seclusion, writing a book about her 1991 kidnapping and her life since then.
The Garridos are due back in court in mid-March.