Garrido's Wife Kept Jaycee While He Was in Prison

Kidnapping suspect told lawyer at home they "acted like a family."

September 1, 2009, 11:08 PM

Sept. 2, 2009— -- 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."

Police: No Doubt Nancy Was at Dugard Kidnapping

Nancy Garrido, then Nancy Bocanegra, met her future husband Phillip Garrido while he was serving time in Leavenworth prison, according to Phillip's brother.

At the time Nancy was visiting her uncle and soon after Nancy and Phillip began to write love letters to each other, Phillip's brother said. Public records show the two married in October 1981, seven years before Phillip would be released from prison.

Following his release the police say the couple conspired and kidnapped Dugard in 1991, beginning 18 years of torment for the young girl and her family.

Dugard's stepfather, Carl Probyn, witnessed the abduction and says it was Nancy who helped Philip snatch the young girl.

Probyn described the kidnapper to a sketch artist 18 years ago and it appears to look enough like Nancy that the police have no doubt.

"Nancy was with Philip at the original kidnapping. She was the female identified in the original car. She matches that description," said El Dorado County Undersheriff Fred Kollar.

Neighbors of the Garridos say Nancy was hardly seen around the neighborhood.

"Nancy was standoffish. She didn't say too much," said Karen Su Walker, a neighbor.

Another neighbor said she was "brainwashed or under Phil's thumb."

Court documents revealed this week say Phillip Garrido claims his predatory sexual behavior was because of his addition to drugs.

The prison psychiatric report indicates that for six years Garrido had been drinking alcohol and taking a number of drugs including LSD, marijuana and cocaine.

Garrido admits to consuming massive amounts of these drugs before his sexual attacks.