Wanda Barzee agrees to testify against her husband, who allegedly masterminded Smart's imprisonment

By Michael Y. Park
Updated November 17, 2009 01:55 PM
Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic; AP

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.”

Elizabeth, now 21, is currently in France on a mission for the Mormon church. She testified against Mitchell earlier this year.

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.