Wanda Barzee, 72, will be released September 19 after the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole determined it had miscalculated the time she previously served in federal custody, board spokesman Greg Johnson said in a news release. She pleaded guilty to that charge and was sentenced to one to 15 years.
Elizabeth Smart said Tuesday that the Utah parole board's decision to release one of the people who abducted her was surprising and "incomprehensible".
She went on to add that 'I appreciate the support, the love, and concern that has been expressed and I will work diligently to address the issue of Barzee's release and to ensure changes are made moving forward to ensure this does not 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, now 30, didn't immediately have comment.
A woman who helped her husband kidnap teen Elizabeth Smart from her Utah bedroom will be released from prison next week, a decision Smart called "incomprehensible".
Upon returning home, Smart completed high school and later attended Brigham Young University, earning a bachelor's degree in music.
Mitchell is serving a life sentence after being convicted of kidnapping and raping Ms Smart. She was 14 at the time and was taken to a camp where Barzee, Mitchell's wife, was waiting. During his trial, Smart told the jury that Mitchell treated her "like an animal", and forced her to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes.
On July 2, the Board issued a decision that said the time spent in federal custody did not count toward the state sentence and the end of Barzee's state sentence was January 29, 2024.
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. Fox News reports Mitchell is serving two life sentences.
Utah Board of Pardons and Parole spokesman Greg Johnson said Barzee will be freed on September 19.
After completing her federal prison term, Barzee was returned to Utah on April 8, 2016 to serve the remainder of her Utah prison sentence.
In November 2009, Barzee pleaded guilty to federal charges. She was transferred to the Utah state prison in April 2016 after finishing a federal sentence in the U.S. state of Texas. The Board counted credit for time served in jail and the state hospital pre-conviction but did not count the time she spent in federal prison as credit to her Utah sentence. She is now a child safety activist.
For her part, Smart detailed her nine-month-long ordeal in her book "My Story".