Phillip Garrido Makes Surprise Not Guilty Plea to Kidnapping Jaycee Dugard

Jaycee Dugard (before her abduction) and Phillip Garrido

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

updated 04/07/2011 AT 2:20 PM ET

originally published 04/07/2011 AT 2:30 PM ET

At the last minute, Phillip Garrido decided against pleading guilty – as had been expected – to Jaycee Dugard’s kidnapping, with his lawyer citing problems with the grand jury.

Garrido, 60, instead entered a not guilty plea during a brief hearing in Placerville, Calif., on Thursday.

His attorney Susan Gellman said outside court she had issues with the racial and geographic makeup of the panel that last September indicted Phillip and wife Nancy Garrido for the 1991 abduction of the then-11-year-old girl, the Associated Press reports.

Gellman also criticized Stephen Tapson, the attorney for Garrido’s wife Nancy, who had said that Philip made a deal to plead guilty and serve a life sentence in order to spare Dugard and her family the pain of a trial.

“He shouldn’t have been speaking for Phillip. He should speak for his client,” Gellman said, according to AP.

A hearing was set for May 5 and trial for Aug. 1.


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