The woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart will be released from prison

Lester Mason
September 12, 2018

Wanda Barzee, a woman convicted of helping a former street preacher kidnap Elizabeth Smart as a teenager from her Salt Lake City bedroom in 2002 and hold her captive will be released from prison next week.

He said the agreement should have allowed Barzee to be paroled from the federal prison without serving more time in Utah, a favorable deal that was struck because she cooperated with authorities as they prosecuted her husband.

Smart was found nine months later, walking down a street in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy with Barzee and Mitchell, a drifter and self-described prophet who called himself Emmanuel.

Smart, now 30, didn't immediately have comment on the pending release. She said she's exploring her options and plans to speak publicly in the coming days.

On Tuesday, the parole board said she has now completed both her sentences.

"Upon further review and advice from legal counsel, the Board must count time spent in federal custody toward Ms. Barzee's state sentence", the board said in a statement.

She said the manuscript also contains other "disturbing and risky ideas".


Scott C. Williams, who was Barzee's trial attorney, said in June after Barzee's parole hearing that he was concerned that the plea deal they had agreed to wasn't being followed.

The month after they kidnapped Smart, Barzee and Mitchell attempted to break into the home of Smart's cousin but were unsuccessful, prosecutors said.

She said the manuscript also contains other "disturbing and risky ideas".

The reversal of that decision not to grant credit for time served ultimately means Barzee's sentence will be complete and she will be released on September 19. Mitchell was sentenced to life for the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart in 2002. He and Barzee were married at one point.

Barzee was sent to the Utah state prison in April 2016 after finishing a federal sentence in Texas.

Smart, now married with two children, has written a book about the ordeal and helped make a Lifetime movie and documentary.

Barzee will be set free on September 19, but will remain under federal supervision for five years.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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