Barzee gets 15 years for Elizabeth Smart abduction

More than seven years after Elizabeth Smart was taken from her Salt Lake City home, Wanda Eileen Barzee pleaded guilty in federal court and agreed to serve 15 years in prison.

Barzee also agreed to plead guilty in state court and to testify against her husband, Brian David Mitchell, a self-proclaimed prophet who allegedly wanted Smart as a plural wife. Barzee admitted in court Tuesday to helping Mitchell plan the abduction and encouraging it.

Barzee offered an apology to Smart, who was not in the courtroom, saying, "I am greatly humbled as I realize how much Elizabeth Smart has been victimized and the role I played in it. I'm so sorry, Elizabeth, for all the pain and suffering I caused you and your family. It is my hope you will be able to find it in your heart to forgive me."

When U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball asked if the Smart family agreed with the terms, Ed Smart stood in the gallery and said: "We feel that under the circumstances we agree to them."

"I just hope that Wanda realizes what she did," he added. "It was absolutely wrong. It was absolutely horrible. As [Barzee being] a mother, I am overwhelmed she was ever able to do something like that."

Outside the courthouse, Smart indicated both he and his daughter forgive Barzee.

Read the rest of this story at sltrib.com
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