Woman charged in Elizabeth Smart abduction case expects life in prison

Wanda Barzee has twice been found incompetent for trial

In letters written to her mother, the woman charged in the 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart has sought forgiveness for any pain she has caused and says she expects to spend the rest of her life in prison.

Wanda Eileen Barzee, 63, however, makes just one reference to Smart in the 12 letters obtained by The Associated Press. And she doesn’t provide details about the nine months the girl allegedly spent with her and her now-estranged husband Brian David Mitchell.

But Barzee writes of repentance only when discussing her desire to be re-baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In a June 21 letter, she recounts talking to a local church leader about the steps necessary to regain her membership, which includes making a full confession.

Barzee has twice been found incompetent for trial and is undergoing forced treatment with anti-psychotic medications. Doctors have said Barzee was delusional and believed she was hearing messages from God through the television. She’s scheduled to appear in state court for a competency review on Oct. 23.

Barzee was arrested March 12, 2003, walking the streets of a Salt Lake City suburb with Mitchell and Smart. That was nine months after Mitchell allegedly cut through a window screen at the Smarts’ Salt Lake City home and whisked away the then-14-year-old Smart at knifepoint.

– Source / Full Story: Woman charged in Smart case expects life in prison, Jennifer Dobner, AP, Sep. 28, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Elizabeth Smart reportedly was to be the first of seven wives.

According to the New York Times, In a 27-page document Mitchell wrote last year … Mitchell said he was one in a line of Mormon prophets dating back to the founding of the church by Joseph Smith Jr. The document, written in the style of the Book of Mormon and titled “The Book of Immanuel David Isaiah,” Mitchell calls himself both a prophet and a “ministering angel” who was sent to Earth to restore the Mormon Church on its proper path.

Last month a competency hearing was scheduled for Barzee’s estranged husband:

10-day hearing is set for Mitchell

A 10-day competency hearing for Brian David Mitchell, the man accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart, has been scheduled to start at the end of November.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball set a two-week hearing for Mitchell, his third since his arrest in 2003 and his first in federal court, to begin Nov. 30 and run through Dec. 11.

– Source / Full Story: 10-day hearing is set for Mitchell, Pat Reavy, Deseret News, Aug. 31, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Elizabeth Smart May Face Alleged Abductor In Court

More than seven years after being forced from her bedroom at knifepoint, Elizabeth Smart appears ready to go to court to face the man accused of holding her captive for nine months.

Smart is scheduled to testify Oct. 1 at a federal competency hearing in the case of street preacher Brian David Mitchell. She was 14 when Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee, allegedly took her from her family’s home June 6, 2002.

Smart later told investigators she was held captive as a plural wife for nine months, and moved from a foothills camp near her home to California and back to Utah. Despite wearing veils and robes, she was recognized on the street of a Salt Lake City suburb in June of 2003 and rescued by police. Mitchell and Barzee were with her and were charged with kidnapping and sexual assault.

– Source / Full Story: Elizabeth Smart May Face Alleged Abductor In Court, Howard Burkes, NPR, Sep. 18, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday September 28, 2009.
Last updated if a date shows here:


More About This Subject


Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.