Media Seek Access To Files In CA Dugard Kidnapping Case


Phillip Garrido’s competence to stand trial in the Jaycee Lee Dugard kidnapping will not be decided until a hearing in early March, a judge decided last week, and more mental health experts may be appointed to examine him before then, McClatchy Newspapers report. Judge Douglas Phimister said he would allow arguments in December by a lawyer for The Sacramento Bee and other media groups seeking to have dozens of documents in the case unsealed, including Garrido’s psychiatric records and transcripts of Dugard’s secret testimony to a grand jury in September about her 18 years of captivity.

Garrido and his wife, Nancy, are accused of kidnapping Dugard in 1991 when she was 11 and holding her captive. As the case has proceeded over the past year, the judge has sealed about 29 documents and held a number of closed hearings, including two sessions that took place out of public view Thursday. Media attorney Karl Olson, who successfully forced the release of Garrido’s parole records by state corrections officials, has filed arguments stating that the documents should be released and the hearings opened because the public has a right to know what is happening in the case.

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