Elizabeth Smart blasts pending prison release of kidnapper: 'It is incomprehensible'

Wanda Barzee and Elizabeth Smart

Smart, now 30, said in a statement that she was surprised and disappointed to learn of Barzee's pending release.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole announced Tuesday that the 72-year-old Barzee would be released on September 19 because the board failed to give her credit for time served in federal prison.

Elizabeth also promised to address the news more publicly once she has a better understanding of what is really going on.

They began hearing about the possibility of an early release just last week, he said.

In May 2010, Barzee was sentences to one to 15 years in the Utah State prison for aggravated kidnapping as a second-degree felony.

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.

For the next nine months, Smart was raped nearly daily by Mitchell.

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She said Mitchell told her their marriage was preordained and that she would be by his side as he took seven times seven wives and successfully battled the Antichrist.

However, now, Fox News reports that the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has changed Wanda's initial January 2024 release to just a week from now!

After completing her federal prison term, Barzee was returned to Utah on April 8, 2016 to serve the remainder of her Utah prison sentence.

Three months later, she pled guilty to state charges for attempted kidnapping in connection to a plot to kidnap Smart's cousin in July 2003 - about a month after Barzee and Mitchell nabbed Smart.

Brian David Mitchell was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of the kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity. During his trial, Smart told the jury that Mitchell treated her "like an animal", and forced her to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. Nine months later, a passer-by spotted her walking down the street with her two captors and notified police. She was transferred to the Utah state prison in April 2016 after finishing a federal sentence in the U.S. state of Texas.

In November 2009, Barzee pleaded guilty to federal charges.

"Upon further review and advice from legal counsel, the board must count time spent in federal custody toward Ms. Barzee's state sentence", wrote Greg Johnson, the director of administrative services, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. In exchange for her plea, she agreed to cooperate in the state and federal cases against Mitchell, her husband. He then shackled her to a wire between two trees while Barzee fully cooperated and was complicit in the kidnapping.

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