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Plea deal possible in Dugard kidnapping case

March 1, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A Northern California couple who confessed to kidnapping and holding Jaycee Dugard captive for 18 years may be close to plea deal.

Stephen Tapson, an attorney for Nancy Garrido, says her husband Phillip confessed to detectives that the couple kidnapped Dugard when she was 11. She was not discovered until 18 years later, living in the couple's backyard compound and raising the two daughters Phillip Garrido already admitted to fathering.

Nancy Garrido, 55, has pleaded not guilty to 18 felony counts that include false imprisonment, rape and child pornography. Her husband, Phillip Garrido, has asked to postpone his arraignment until March 17.

Talk of a plea deal surfaced last month when a judge declared Phillip Garrido competent to stand trial.

Prosecutors are reportedly offering 440 years in prison for Phillip Garrido and more than 241 years in prison for Nancy Garrido.

Tapson said he believed the sentence proposed for his client is exorbitant.

"She should be able to walk free at some point in time," Tapson said, adding that he thought a sentence of 20 to 30 years would be appropriate.

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.

Eyewitness News has also learned that Dugard watched Nancy's tearful confession from across the table.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.