Responding to concerns that kidnap suspects Phillip and Nancy Garrido may be plotting their testimony by phone, a judge on Thursday suspended the couple's monthly telephone calls in the El Dorado County jail.
The decision came after County Counsel Ed Knapp told Judge Douglas Phimister that "our fears have been confirmed" about what might happen if the two were allowed to speak by phone.
The pair are accused of snatching Jaycee Lee Dugard off a street near her South Lake Tahoe home in 1991, when she was 11.
Knapp did not elaborate on what the Garridos may have said to each other, but he told reporters later that additional information would come in a formal motion next week seeking a halt to the conversations.
"Some time ago, when this subject came up, the jail was very concerned that contacts between co-defendants in the same case are very problematical," Knapp said. "We don't allow it generally for obvious reasons. They are able to conform their testimony, they are able to create false testimony in general."
Phimister agreed last Feb. 26 to allow the couple to speak by telephone once a month in five-minute conversations, a compromise he offered after the defense asked that they be allowed to meet face to face to discuss legal and family issues.
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