The request of the husband and wife accused of raping and kidnapping Jaycee Dugard to visit each other in jail to discuss "family" issues has angered the county sheriff who said the only family they have is one created through vicious crimes.
Phillip and Nancy Garrido filed their request earlier this month, prompting a scathing reaction by El Dorado County Sheriff Fred Kollar.
"The psuedo-family the Garridos want to discuss was created by the kidnap, false imprisonment and multiple rapes of a young girl, producing two children," the sheriff state in court documents opposing the Garridos' request.
"While it may be argued that a restoration of family values would improve the quality of American life in general, the assertion of family rights in a case where the 'family' was the produce of 29 alleged felonies is astonishing," the sheriff continued.
In the conclusion to the papers filed on behalf of the sheriff, Kollar states that "Garridos' invocation of the sanctity of 'family' is breathtaking in its audacity."
Longstanding county jail policy, Kollar noted, does not allow visitation between inmates, especially those who are co-defendants in a pending criminal case.
Among the concerns outlined in the sheriff's rebuttal are the discussion of escape plans, creation of phony testimony and plans by one inmate to coerce or control the other.
"The essence of being in jail is that you don't get to visit whoever you please, under the conditions you might prefer," the sheriff's motion read.
Prosecutors and the defense have been tight-lipped about the case as it inches forward in the courts, but a series of filings and tactics have made public a complicatedlegal tug-of-war.
Earlier this month, prosecutors released portions of a diary Dugard kept during the 18 years she was allegedly imprisoned in the Garridos' backyard in hopes of persuading the judge to keep Dugard's current location a secret in the face of Phillip Garrido's attempts to find her from jail.
The words were heartbreaking. Six years before Dugard was freed from the backyard prison, she wrote, "How can I ever tell him I want to be free. Free to come and go as I please ... free to say I have a family."
"It feels like I'm sinking. ... This is supposed to be my life to do with what I like ... but once again he has taken it away," Dugard wrote in another entry, dated July 5, 2004. "How many times is he allowed to take it away from me? I am afraid he doesn't see how the things he says makes me a prisoner."
The district attorney has asked for a court order preventing the Garridos from having contact with her or her family. A hearing is scheduled for Friday.
Dugard was kidnapped in broad daylight in 1991 at age 11. Her stepfather tried chasing the car down the street after hearing her scream, but she was never seen again until August 2009.
The life Garrido had made for his alleged victim -- nearly two decades in a backyard lair of tents and sheds with no access to school or medical care -- came crashing down when his unusual behavior at a California college campus with Dugard's daughters tipped off campus police.
For her part, Dugard is further attempting to distance herself from her former captor. She has decided to rename her daughters, changing the names Angel and Starlit that Garrido chose for them.