Wanda Barzee pleads guilty to charge in Elizabeth Smart case

SALT LAKE CITY — Prosecutors on Monday dropped state charges against a woman in the 2002 abduction of Elizabeth Smart in exchange for a guilty plea related to the attempted kidnapping of Smart’s cousin.

Wanda Eileen Barzee pleaded guilty but mentally ill to one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping. The second-degree felony stems from the July 24, 2002, attempted abduction of Smart’s 15-year-old cousin Olivia Wright – 50 days after Smart was taken from her Salt Lake City home at age 14.

Sentencing in 3rd District Court is set for May 21.

The plea helps resolve a nearly 7-year-old case that slowed when Barzee was twice deemed incompetent to stand trial. Judge Judith Atherton ordered Barzee to undergo forced treatments with anti-psychotic medications. That process began in May 2008.

Doctors at the Utah State Hospital said last fall that Barzee had responded to the treatment and was competent.

Atherton accepted that determination Monday but said Barzee remains mentally ill.

– Source / Full Story: Barzee pleads guilty to charge in Smart case, Jennifer Dobner, Associated Press via CentreDaily.com, Feb. 8, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday February 9, 2010.
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