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PLACERVILLE -- On June 2, Phillip Garrido will be chained and shackled for his half-mile drive from the El Dorado County Jail to a Placerville courtroom.

Once there, he will be dispatched by Judge Douglas Phimister to prison, for the rest of his life.

The 60-year-old rapist and kidnapper will be joined by his wife, Nancy, 55, who faces a similar fate.

She will be sentenced to 36 years to life, and will be eligible for parole after 31 years. There is a chance she will walk free, a woman in her 80s who spent much of her life aiding her husband in his disturbing crimes. But even her own attorney concedes there is little chance of that.

"Unfortunately, it's probably going to be in a casket," Stephen Tapson said Thursday after the two pleaded guilty in the 1991 abduction and ongoing sexual assaults of Jaycee Dugard.

Dugard was not present, but she spoke out afterward for the first time about her captors.

"I am relieved that Phillip and Nancy Garrido have finally acknowledged their guilt and confessed to their crimes against me and my family," she said in a statement.

The guilty pleas, the details of which were still being sorted out before court Thursday, came during a 35-minute hearing in which the couple finally accepted responsibility for kidnapping Dugard as an 11-year-old girl on her way to school from her home near South Lake Tahoe.


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At moments, the court session appeared to be almost too much for Nancy Garrido. She sobbed quietly after pleading guilty to kidnapping and aiding Dugard's rape by her husband. Eventually, a bailiff handed her a tissue, which she bent down to use with her wrists shackled to her waist.

Outside the courtroom, Tapson said he was certain his client was genuinely sorry for her actions: "I've got to tell you, from the get-go, she said, 'Just do the best you can, Mr. Tapson, because I don't want Jaycee and the kids to go through an actual trial.' "

"Obviously, you don't want to plead your client guilty to a life sentence," Tapson added, "but that's the best I could get and it's what she was willing to do."

Unlike his wife, Phillip Garrido showed no emotion. After decades in the judicial system -- including a conviction for the 1976 kidnap and rape of Katie Callaway Hall -- he is accustomed to courtrooms.

He pleaded guilty to kidnapping and 13 counts of sexual assault and will be sentenced to 431 years to life.

Garrido spoke quietly but firmly as he answered Phimister's questions, and at one point corrected the judge about the details of his incarceration for the Callaway Hall assault.

That case alone should have kept Dugard from his clutches.

He was sentenced in 1977 to 50 years to life, but won release in 1988 "with a total of 14,235 days remaining to be served," federal parole records note.

Garrido, the records indicate, was praised for having "substantially observed the rules of the institution."

"I am extremely happy that my ordeal with Phillip Garrido is finally coming to a close," Callaway Hall said in a statement. "I know that the El Dorado District Attorney's Office is making sure that, this time, Garrido will not be able to talk his way out of prison and past the parole systems."

Garrido was on parole June 10, 1991, when he and his wife abducted Dugard. They kept her captive for 18 years near Antioch, even as she bore two daughters that were the result of Phillip Garrido's continued attacks.

She was freed when the Garridos were arrested in August 2009 and her identity was discovered.

Dugard, who has been living in seclusion with her daughters and writing a book about her ordeal, was told Wednesday night by El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson that the Garridos had accepted a plea deal.

Pierson said Dugard's willingness to testify against the Garridos allowed his office to take "a hard line" in negotiations and state that prosecutors would go to trial if a deal could not be reached.

"Jaycee's courage and willingness to confront her abductors directly led to the defendants' plea and life sentences," Pierson said, adding that she was "very relieved" her daughters would not have to testify.

Pierson said he had talked with her about whether she wanted to be present and speak at the June 2 sentencing, but he said he does not know her preference.

"That's her decision," he said.

Pierson, who handled the case personally along with deputy district attorney James Clinchard, has been insistent that the Garridos would face justice, and he took no chances in court Thursday.

The charges the couple pleaded guilty to came from a September indictment, but a previous criminal complaint filed in August 2009 also remained in place Thursday morning.

When Phimister asked him to dismiss that case, Pierson said he would do so only after he was certain the pair were pleading guilty.

"It pays to be careful," he said afterward.