Elizabeth Smart upset one of her kidnappers to be freed


Elizabeth Smart upset one of her kidnappers to be freed

The woman who helped kidnap then-teenager Elizabeth Smart in 2002 has been granted parole in a surprise reversal by the Utah Board of Pardons.

The news release goes on to say that at the June hearing that "Ms. Barzee's attorney contended that Ms. Barzee's federal sentence should run concurrently with her state sentence and therefore the Board had miscalculated the end of Ms. Barzee's state sentence...."

Wanda Barzee will be free September 19, announced the Utah Board of Pardons in a surprise decision Tuesday.

As we've told you, Wanda skipped out on her parole hearing in June, and a board member said she turned down meeting a psychiatrist at the Utah State Prison despite pleading "guilty but mentally ill".

She had pleaded guilty to kidnapping Smart from her Salt Lake City home and helping keep her captive for nine months before the teen was rescued, and was slapped with a 15-year sentence.

Ms Smart said in an Instagram post after the hearing that she is not a vindictive person but was anxious about Barzee's release after learning she was still carrying a manuscript containing revelations that accomplice Brian David Mitchell said he received from God telling him to kidnap Ms Smart. "The Smarts are incredibly good people, they are kind, and compassionate and forgiving, but they are also determined to never allow horror such as what occurred previously to ever darken their doorstep again-they believe Wanda Barzee still presents a real danger to society, and it's unfathomable that she's going to be free and walking the streets unchecked once again".

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

Smart, now 30, didn't immediately have comment.

The kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart gripped the United States media in 2002 and 2003, ultimately leading to the imprisonment of abductor Brian Mitchell and his accomplice Wanda Barzee after their arrest by police. Yet, the board reversed its decision on Tuesday and scheduled Barzee's release for September 19.

Smart was found in March of 2003.

In 2010, Barzee was sentenced to consecutive 15-year sentences for the federal and state charges. She began serving her federal sentence that same day.

Smart said she will work "to ensure changes are made moving forward to ensure this doesn't happen to anyone else in the future".

February 8, 2010: The Utah state court found Barzee competent to proceed and Barzee pled guilty to aggravated kidnapping.

Smart's abduction from her Salt Lake City bedroom at knifepoint by a man who came in through an open kitchen window triggered waves of fear around the country.