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Jaycee Lee Dugard Update: Judge Schedules Competency Hearing for Suspect Phillip Garrido

Phillip Garrido and Jaycee Dugard (AP)
Jaycee Lee Dugard Update: Judge Schedules Competency Hearing for Suspect Phillip Garrido
Phillip Garrido and Jaycee Dugard (AP)

PLACERVILLE, Calif. (CBS/AP) A California judge scheduled a two-week hearing in March for Phillip Garrido, the man accused of kidnapping Jaycee Dugard, raping her, and holding her captive for 18 years, to determine if he is competent to face trial.

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Judge Douglas Phimister said Thursday that he did not want to postpone Garrido's trial, but claimed court-appointed psychiatrists needed time to evaluate the defendant and videotapes that have remained in possession of prosecutors.

The judge would not comment on the content of the tapes, but according to an indictment, investigators recovered several videos produced by Garrido containing sexual acts with Dugard.

In September Phimister suspended criminal proceedings against Garrido after his public defender Susan Gellman claimed that he was mentally ill and had "persistent trouble" in helping her with his defense.

The judge also delayed until at least next month his ruling on a request by several news organizations to unseal documents in the case, which include transcripts of Dugard's grand jury testimony, which helped indict Garrido and his wife, Nancy, on kidnapping, rape and child pornography charges, according to The New York Times.

Stephen Tapson, the court-appointed lawyer representing Nancy Garrido, opposed releasing the documents, claiming that the "tale of terror" told by Dugard would make it almost impossible to find an impartial jury.

"I have examined hundreds of transcripts that vividly describe murder, rape, pillage, but nowhere in my experience have I seen a transcript that describes evil as is contained in the grand jury transcript for People v. Garrido," Tapson said in a written filling Wednesday.

Phimister did not delay proceedings against Nancy Garrido, who has pleaded not guilty to similar counts. The couple is accused of kidnapping Dugard, now 30, in 1991 and holding her and the her daughters fathered by Phillip Garrido captive in a backyard jumble of tents and sheds until they were arrested in August 2009.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF JAYCEE DUGARD ON CRIMESIDER

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