Wanda Barzee Release From Prison Despite Elizabeth Smart's Please That She's a 'Danger'

September 19, 2018
By: Catherine Townsend
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Wanda E. Barzee, Elizabeth Smart

Photo by: Salt Lake County Jail, ElizabethSmart.com

Salt Lake County Jail, ElizabethSmart.com

Wanda E. Barzee, Elizabeth Smart

Wanda Barzee has been released from prison, according to a spokesperson for the Utah Department of Corrections. Barzee helped her husband, Brian David Mitchell, kidnap 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart in 2002.

Smart, who is now a child safety activist, has publicly stated that she believes that Barzee continues to be a “danger.”

“Part of her plea deal back when her case came up – it was required for her to write an apology to me. But it was just a very brief, ‘I’m sorry for what I’ve done, the end,’ kind of thing,” Smart told CBS News.

“I don’t think you can just kidnap a 14-year-old girl and, you know, not only sit by her while she’s being raped but encourage the rapist to continue. … Then just at the end of it say, ‘I’m sorry,’ and really mean it.”

Barzee’s release comes after a parole board decided that her sentence had been incorrectly calculated, and that she should receive credit for federal time served. She will be under federal supervision for five years.

Mitchell kidnapped Smart from her bedroom in Salt Lake City when she was 14. He and Barzee held the teen captive for nine months before she was rescued by police.

Barzee’s sister stated that Barzee is mentally ill and “manipulative.

Smart did reveal to CBS News that she has “been reassured, multiple times, that she will be kept a very close eye on. And as soon as she messes up, which I’ve been reassured that she will, she will be taken back to federal prison for the duration of the five years.”

Barzee spent more than 15 years behind bars for her role in Smart’s kidnapping. Mitchell is still in prison, where he is serving a life sentence.

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