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Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper has been released from prison

Wanda Eileen Barzee, who helped her husband kidnap Elizabeth Smart in 2002, was released sooner than expected.

Posted: Sep 20, 2018 9:15 AM
Updated: Sep 20, 2018 9:31 AM

Wanda Barzee, one of two people who abducted 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart in 2002, was released from a Utah prison Wednesday.

Barzee was serving a 15-year sentence when the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole unexpectedly credited her for time served, moving up her release date from 2024.

Smart, now 30, had urged officials to reconsider releasing the woman who assisted in her kidnapping and rape, saying she's still a threat to the community.

But Barzee's lawyer said the 72-year-old woman has done her time and deserves a chance to prove that she's ready to return to society.

"I do not believe there is any evidence that Ms. Barzee is a risk to the community, and I think it is unfair and counterproductive to make such assertions," Scott Williams told CNN.

"She should be allowed to demonstrate compliance with conditions of supervised release after a sentence that resulted from a settlement with the United States, the State of Utah, and with the agreement of the Smart family."

Barzee pleaded guilty in 2010 to kidnapping and unlawful transport of a minor for the purposes of sexual activity. In exchange for her plea and testimony against her husband, Brian Mitchell, she received lenience in sentencing.

Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison in 2011 -- nearly nine years after Smart's abduction.

Barzee will be on supervised release for five years, said Eric Anderson, deputy chief US Probation Officer for Utah. "A transition plan is in place for her in terms of residence ... She won't be homeless."

Most likely, she will live alone in a private residence and follow standard release conditions plus a special condition that she must participate in a mental health treatment program, he said. She will not have an ankle monitor or any sort of GPS monitor.

According to conditions of release that Barzee agreed to in 2010, she must report to a probation officer each month and she cannot leave the Salt Lake City area without permission.

She must also register as a sex offender, cooperate in DNA collection, find a job and notify law enforcement of any change in residence and employment. A probation officer may visit her at any time and she cannot possess a firearm.

Smart, who was held captive for nine months, has said there were times when Mitchell "absolutely" manipulated Barzee.

"But she in her own right abused me as much as he did," Smart said last week.

"She is a woman who had six children and yet could co-conspire to kidnap a 14-year-old girl, and not only sit next to her while (she was) being raped, but encouraged her husband to continue to rape me," Smart said.

"So, do I believe she is dangerous? Yes, but not just to me. I believe that she is a danger and a threat to any vulnerable person in our community."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 245847

Reported Deaths: 5356
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16717168
Hinds15748310
Harrison12806188
Rankin10334204
Jackson9996172
Lee8666135
Madison7994158
Jones6112108
Forrest5826117
Lauderdale5672174
Lowndes5186106
Lafayette482792
Lamar471162
Washington4700122
Bolivar3915105
Oktibbeha384279
Panola357274
Pontotoc356552
Monroe3463101
Union334755
Warren334692
Marshall333264
Neshoba3310149
Pearl River313891
Leflore2969104
Lincoln290185
Sunflower275868
Tate264759
Alcorn257850
Itawamba257058
Pike254876
Hancock246957
Prentiss240047
Scott238743
Copiah235649
Yazoo235054
Tippah233845
Simpson230166
Leake226764
Coahoma219054
Grenada213970
Covington207171
Marion203371
Adams200065
Winston196260
George195937
Wayne193029
Attala190958
Newton185142
Chickasaw179943
Tishomingo179059
Holmes167467
Jasper163533
Clay155632
Stone138818
Tallahatchie137033
Clarke135160
Calhoun132021
Smith117322
Yalobusha112534
Walthall110536
Noxubee108922
Greene108229
Montgomery107134
Carroll102320
Lawrence99817
Perry98631
Amite95725
Webster90024
Claiborne84125
Tunica84021
Jefferson Davis82925
Humphreys80324
Benton79722
Kemper75620
Quitman6678
Franklin64613
Choctaw59412
Wilkinson57424
Jefferson52019
Sharkey42317
Issaquena1576
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 414583

Reported Deaths: 5945
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson60842887
Mobile29590538
Madison26466183
Tuscaloosa20537267
Montgomery18562304
Shelby18181112
Baldwin15841177
Lee1212097
Morgan12002112
Etowah11488142
Calhoun10863197
Marshall10048106
Houston8405123
Cullman792294
Limestone785073
Elmore7670101
DeKalb757282
St. Clair7417120
Lauderdale740282
Talladega6036108
Walker5834176
Jackson571937
Colbert522270
Blount521980
Autauga507555
Coffee431456
Dale388278
Franklin362145
Chilton332965
Covington325567
Russell318910
Escambia309842
Dallas297988
Chambers275769
Clarke272933
Tallapoosa2591107
Pike245829
Lawrence239345
Marion238649
Winston222535
Bibb211347
Geneva196331
Marengo196329
Pickens195331
Hale172542
Barbour169636
Butler166958
Fayette164026
Cherokee158330
Henry149219
Monroe143617
Randolph137635
Washington135426
Clay124446
Crenshaw117444
Lamar116819
Cleburne115123
Macon111935
Lowndes107935
Wilcox99921
Bullock97128
Perry95019
Conecuh92820
Sumter89126
Greene75123
Coosa59814
Choctaw50824
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