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Elizabeth Smart kidnapper to be released from prison in surprise move

Elizabeth Smart kidnapper to be released from prison in surprise move

Elizabeth Smart, 30, is condemning the more lenient prison release date of her kidnapper and captor, 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", Smart said.

Wanda Barzee will be free September 19, announced the Utah Board of Pardons in a surprise decision Tuesday. Fox13, however, reports her release will come five years before it was expected she would be eligible for parole, which would have been 2023.

At that June hearing, the board said that Barzee had refused to take a psychological exam. She now is serving a one-to-15 year sentence on that charge.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole said Tuesday that Barzee will be freed September 19 after authorities determined they had miscalculated the time Barzee previously served in federal custody.

She said she would speak publicaly about Barzee's release in the coming days once she has "a better understanding".

More news: Bruins Trade Defenseman Adam McQuaid to Rangers

Smart, in a statement, said she was disappointed by the decision.

Barzee was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to kidnapping Smart from her Salt Lake City home and helping keep her captive for nine months before the teen was rescued.

The parole board had previously denied Barzee an early release after declining to include her eight years in federal prison as time served on state charges.

Smart was found nine months later, walking down a street in the suburb of Sandy with Barzee and Mitchell, a drifter and self-described prophet who called himself Emmanuel. According to Smart, Mitchell forced her through woods while she wore only her pajamas, then raped her after the mock marriage ceremony.

Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison in 2011 - almost nine years after Smart's abduction. The parole board stated Barzee completed her sentence. It will be a 60-month long supervision that will restrict Wanda's use of firearms, subject her to probation officer visits, require her to follow sex offender registry requirements and enroll in a mental heath treatment program, the newspaper reported based on Wanda's 2010 sentencing documents.

In June, the parole board calculated her sentence would continue through January 2024, however that did not account for time served in federal prison. She is now a child safety activist who regularly gives speeches.


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