The Latest: Smart kidnapper released from Utah prison
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on the release of the woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart in Utah (all times local):
A woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart when she was a teenager has been released from a Utah prison after 15 years in custody.
Utah State prison spokeswoman Kaitlin Felsted said in a statement that Wanda Barzee was released Wednesday following a surprise announcement last week that authorities had miscalculated the amount of time she should serve.
The 72-year-old was previously scheduled to be released in 2024.
Barzee was not seen by reporters leaving the prison in the Salt Lake City suburb of Draper. She will be under federal supervision for five years.
Smart, now 30, is shocked Barzee is being released and said she hopes she will be closely watched and given treatment.
Smart says that during her nine-month abduction in 2002 and 2003, Barzee would encourage her street-preacher husband to rape her.
Elizabeth Smart says the woman who helped kidnap her when she was 14 and stood by as she was sexually assaulted fell short on her court-ordered apology.
Part of Wanda Barzee’s plea deal was a requirement that she write an apology, Smart said in an interview aired Wednesday on “CBS This Morning.”
Barzee is expected to be freed Wednesday after 15 years in custody because Utah authorities had miscalculated the amount of time the 72-year-old woman should serve.
In the interview, Smart also stressed that victims like herself shouldn’t be blamed, tempting though it may be.