Woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart to be released earlier than expected

Wanda Barzee who was convicted for her role in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart is set to be released

Wanda Barzee, convicted for role in Elizabeth Smart kidnapping, to be released from prison September 19

One of Elizabeth Smart's abductors is getting out of prison next week - a decision that the kidnapping victim says is "incomprehensible".

Smart said she was raped almost every day during nine months in captivity and forced to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and watch Mitchell have sex with his legal wife, Barzee.

Wanda Barzee will be free September 19, announced the Utah Board of Pardons in a surprise decision Tuesday.

However, now, Fox News reports that the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has changed Wanda's initial January 2024 release to just a week from now!

According to a statement from the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole: 'Upon further review and advice from legal counsel, the Board must count time spent in federal custody toward Ms. Barzee's state sentence.

But she also had pleaded guilty in state court to attempted kidnapping in connection to a plot to kidnap Smart's cousin in July 2002, about a month after Mitchell and Barzee kidnapped Smart.

The surprise move announced Tuesday comes after authorities determined they had miscalculated the time 72-year-old Wanda Barzee previously served in federal custody.

On March 12, 2003, Mitchell and Barzee were spotted on a street in Sandy, Utah, about 18 miles from Smart's Salt Lake City home, by two women who had seen the sketch of Mitchell on America's Most Wanted.

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Barzee returned to Utah in 2016 after completing her federal sentence and began serving her Utah prison sentence.

Ms Smart, now 30, said in a statement she was "surprised and disappointed" to learn that Barzee will be freed next week.

The couple was arrested in 2003 and Barzee pleaded guilty in federal court in November 2009.

Brian David Mitchell was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of the kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity. She was 14 at the time and was taken to a camp where Barzee, Mitchell's wife, was waiting. Earlier this year, she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for her work as a special correspondent on "Crime Watch Daily". Yet, the board reversed its decision on Tuesday and scheduled Barzee's release for September 19.

The next year, she was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. At that time, the board did not credit Barzee's sentence in the Utah system with time served in the federal system.

In May 2010, Barzee was sentences to one to 15 years in the Utah State prison for aggravated kidnapping as a second-degree felony.

Elizabeth Smart is a child safety activist and ABC News contributor who came to national attention in 2002 when she was abducted from her Salt Lake City, Utah home.

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