Phillip Garrido’s Lawyer: He’s Not Manipulative, But Mentally Ill

Jaycee Dugard (before her abduction) and Phillip Garrido

Nick Ut/AP; El Dorado County Sheriffs Office/Reuters/AP

02/25/2010 AT 3:30 PM ET

Phillip Garrido isn’t a master manipulator who sends coded messages to victim Jaycee Dugard, as prosecutors contend – he’s mentally ill, Garrido’s own lawyer says in a new court document.

El Dorado County Deputy Public Defender Susan Gellman filed the motion on Wednesday, after the prosecution asked the court not to allow Garrido to communicate with his wife, co-defendant Nancy Garrido, in jail, and to block the defense from being able to communicate with Dugard or to know where she and her daughters are hiding.

A judge is due to rule on the motions Friday in a pretrial hearing for the Garridos, who are charged with abducting Jaycee more than 18 years ago (when she was 11) and keeping her as Garrido’s sex slave.



County authorities say that Garrido would continue to manipulate those around him if allowed to communicate with Nancy Garrido or Jaycee. In rebuttal, Gellman attaches to her motion leaflets and other literature that Garrido circulated before his arrest. The documents demonstrate that he’s an unsophisticated, delusional and naïve religious fanatic and paranoid schizophrenic who believed he could speak with angels. He also claims to have invented a device to help him control sound with his mind.

Gellman says his odd behavior led to his arrest six months ago this week.

“The District Attorney is ignoring the clear signs of mental illness,” says Gellman, who accuses the DA of political grandstanding. “Mr. Garrido’s contacts with the media, when his attorney tells him not to have them, are not manipulations at all, but evidence that he may not be competent to be a defendant.”

So far, Gellman has not suggested in court that Garrido be found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity.

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