Nancy Garrido, the wife of Jaycee Dugard's accused kidnapper, has a serious legal problem in her defense: She apparently kept the girl prisoner for a five month period while her husband Phillip Garrido went to prison for violating his parole, her lawyer acknowledged today.
But Nancy Garrido's lawyer suggested today that she was powerless to free the girl because she was under the control of Phillip Garrido.
"If she's being controlled, he doesn't have to be there physically. If she's being controlled, she's being controlled," Nancy Garrido's attorney Gilbert Maines told "Good Morning America" today.
"I guess I would say she's a victim," he said.
Maines said he has only had the case for five days and has met with Nancy Garrido twice. So far he has not seen "any evidence whatsoever" in order to formulate a defense for his client.
Nancy Garrido faces the same 29 felony charges her husband does for Dugard's abduction in 1991, including committing a forcible lewd act upon a child. During her arraignment last week she repeatedly put her face in her hands and sobbed.
Maines said today that Garrido remains in an emotional state and said she misses the two girls, Angel and Starlet, that her husband fathered with Dugard.
"She was distraught. She was frightened. She seemed a little lost, all of those things. She seemed to be like a ship without a rudder, but she understood why she was there," Maines said.
One of the many legal dilemmas Nancy Garrido faces is what she did during five months when Phillip was serving a prison sentence for violating his parole in 1993, just two years after Dugard was snatched off a school bus stop. Dugard was still only 13 when Phillip Garrido was returned to prison.
But Nancy Garrido clearly made no effort to send Dugard home during that time.
"If she was there alone with the girl for an extended period of time, then it would defy logic and common sense for her not to know that this is a stranger in their home and you know criminal activity is afoot," said ABC News consultant Dana Cole.
Maines said he talked to Nancy Garrido about life in the Garrido home.
"They acted like a family. It's sad, there's a lot of collatoral damage in this case," he said. "She misses the girls very much. She loves them."
Maines said until he can talk to his client more next week, he's going by what he has heard about Phillip's control over her.
"But there's some things that make me curious," Maines told "GMA." He noted that Nancy met Phillip while visiting a relative in prison and got married while he was still in prison.
"The fact that when he walked into the parole office, she went placidly along. And later I'm told that when the officers asked if they could search her home she said, whatever Phillip wants. If Phillip says it's okay, it's okay," Maines said.
The lawyer also noted that Nancy Garrido did not have a job for at least the last 10 years, but stayed home and took care of his mother.
"Phillip's brother apparently had described her as a robot... and did whatever Phillip wants," Maines said. "Until I see evidence -- unfortunately we have to go on the basis of evidence and not speculation. The people cannot convict with speculation and I can't defend with it."