SALT LAKE CITY -- (KSTU) -- Wanda Barzee, convicted for her role in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart, will be released from prison on September 19.
According to a letter sent by Greg Johnson of the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole, the unexpected release date stems from an issue during her parole hearing in June 12, 2018, where the board did not give Barzee credit for time served in federal prison toward her sentence in the Utah State Prison.
“I was surprised and disappointed to learn of the pending release of Wanda Barzee. 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. I am trying to understand how and why this is happening and exploring possible options. I plan to speak publicly in the coming days once I have a better understanding. I appreciate the support, love and concern that has already been expressed and will work diligently to address the issue of Barzee's release as well as to ensure changes are made moving forward to ensure this doesn't happen to anyone else in the future.” - Elizabeth Smart, Sept. 11, 2018 via KSTU
Barzee and Brian Mitchell were arrested in 2003 for her role in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart, and she pleaded guilty in federal court in November of 2009. She later pleaded guilty to charges in Utah in February of 2010.
In May of 2010, the Utah court sentenced Barzee to a term of 1-15 years in the Utah State Prison for aggravated kidnapping as a second-degree felony. She began serving her federal sentence that same day, May 21. Barzee returned to Utah in 2016 after completing her federal sentence and began serving her Utah prison sentence.