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

14 September 2018
Elizabeth Smart blasts pending prison release of kidnapper: 'It is incomprehensible'

One of Elizabeth Smart's abductors is getting out of prison next week - a decision that the kidnapping victim says is "incomprehensible".

"It is incomprehensible how someone who has not cooperated with her mental health evaluations or risk assessments and someone who did not show up to her own parole hearing can be released into our community", she wrote.

Smart said she was raped almost every day during nine months in captivity and forced to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and watch Mitchell have sex with his legal wife, Barzee.

However, in a shock move, the state's parole board announced that authorities had actually miscalculated the time she previously served in prison, leading to her release years before her prison sentence was supposed to end in January 2024.

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". At that June hearing, the board said Barzee had refused to take a psychological exam.

She pled guilty to criminal charges in federal court on November 16, 2009 and three months later also pleaded guilty to state charges for being involved in a plot to kidnap Smart's cousin in July 2002.

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.

Ms Smart was found while walking with Barzee and Mitchell on a street in the suburb of Sandy, Utah, by people who recognised the couple from media reports.

However, the news release goes on: "based on further review and advice from legal counsel, the Board must count the time in federal prison as credit to the Utah sentence and therefore Ms. Barzee's sentence ends on September 19, 2018".

Smart, in a statement, said she was disappointed by the decision. She was released from federal prison in Texas in 2016 and returned to Utah to serve her state sentence. He also forced her to watch him have sex with Barzee.

The next year, she was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.

In 2010, Barzee was sentenced to consecutive 15-year sentences for the federal and state charges. "Therefore Ms. Barzee's state sentence ends on September 19, 2018".

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

Smart's abduction from her bedroom at knifepoint by a man who came in through an open kitchen window triggered waves of fear among parents around the country. She is now a child safety activist who regularly gives speeches.