Elizabeth Smart Abductor Wanda Barzee to Be Released from Prison Sept. 19

On June 5, 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart woke to a strange voice in her room saying, "I have a knife at your neck. Don't make a sound. Get up and come with me." What ensued was nine months of rape and abuse at the hands of her captors, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee. About these months, Smart said, "There wasn't a single day I didn't pray. . . It was the hardest time of my life, without a doubt, but at the same time, it was one of the most spiritual times of my life because I felt my Savior's presence so strongly in my life." 

Now, 16 years after her kidnapping, one of Smart's captors will be released from prison.

Wanda Barzee, the wife of Brian David Mitchell, who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart and hold her hostage for nine months, will be released from prison next week after serving her entire sentence.

► You'll also like: Elizabeth Smart Shares Powerful Message About Forgiving Her Captors—"Forgiveness Is Another Word for Self-Love"

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole announced Tuesday that during Barzee's parole hearing in June, board members mistakenly did not give her credit for her time served in federal prison.

"Upon further review and advice from legal counsel, the board must count time spent in federal custody toward Ms. Barzee’s state sentence. Therefore, Ms. Barzee’s state sentence ends on Sept. 19, 2018," according to a prepared statement from the Board of Pardons.

Lead image from Utah State Prison via Associated Press 
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