Phillip Garrido to Plead Guilty to Jaycee Dugard Kidnapping

04/05/2011 at 02:40 PM EDT

Jaycee Dugard Kidnapper Phillip Garrido to Plead Guilty
Jaycee Dugard (before her abduction) and Phillip Garrido
Nick Ut/AP; El Dorado County Sheriffs Office/Reuters/AP
Phillip Garrido, who recently fully confessed to his 1991 abduction of then-11-year-old Jaycee Dugard, will plead guilty on Thursday, an attorney in the case tells PEOPLE.

Having been found competent to stand trial, Garrido, 60, has little recourse to avoid being convicted, so he is sparing Jaycee and their daughters from having to testify against him, says Stephen Tapson, the attorney for Phillip's wife, Nancy Garrido, 55.

"He wants to spare Jaycee from testifying and he's sorry for his crimes," Tapson says.





He says the repeat sex offender is planning to plead guilty to 16 of the 18 charges in a recent indictment. These include kidnapping, forcible rape, lewd acts on a child and false imprisonment.

Phillip Garrido's attorney, Susan Gellman, had no immediate comment. El Dorado County, Calif., District Attorney Vern Pierson declined to comment.

Tapson says it is unclear whether Garrido will be sentenced as soon as Thursday. He says there's a lot of math involved – Garrido is looking at more than 500 years to life – and the judge wants to calculate correctly and not provide Garrido grounds for appeal.

"It's a numerical nightmare," Tapson says.

Phillip Garrido to Plead Guilty to Jaycee Dugard Kidnapping| Crime & Courts, Jaycee Dugard, Phillip Garrido

Jaycee Dugard today

Equally unclear is how things will play out for Tapson's client, who faces many of the same charges. Tapson says that, like Jaycee, Nancy Garrido was also controlled and manipulated by her husband, and he'd like to negotiate a sentence with the possibility of parole, something Pierson's office has resisted.

Absent any such deal, Nancy Garrido could go to trial later this year, with her husband testifying as a star defense witness who will say, "It's all my fault and I coerced her," Tapson says, adding, "He loves her and he wants to do what he can to help her."

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