Woman Who Helped Kidnap Elizabeth Smart Pleads Guilty
Wanda Barzee agrees to testify against her husband, who allegedly masterminded Smart's imprisonment
The wife of the man who is on trial for kidnapping Elizabeth Smart in Utah in 2002 pleaded guilty in a federal court Tuesday, and will testify against her husband at his trial.
Wanda Barzee admitted to her role in the charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity. Authorities alleged that Smart was held for nine months by Barzee and Brian David Mitchell, a self-avowed prophet who is accused of snatching the girl from her bedroom one night to make her his “second wife.”
“I’m greatly humbled as I realize how much Elizabeth Smart has been victimized and the role I played in it,” Barzee said after her plea, according to the Deseret News. “I’m so sorry, Elizabeth, for all the pain and suffering I caused you and your family. It is my hope that you find it in your heart to forgive me.”
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Ed Smart, Elizabeth’s father, said: “We feel under the circumstances that we agree to it. I just hope that Wanda realizes that what she did was wrong and absolutely horrifying.”
Mitchell, who was recently found mentally competent to stand trial by doctors, is facing a competency hearing on Nov. 30, and as part of her plea agreement, Barzee will testify against him then. Both face a number of kidnapping and sexual-assault charges in state court, as well.