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Wanda Barzee Gets 15 Years for Elizabeth Smart Kidnapping; Is it Enough?

Carousel - Wanda Eileen Barzee stands with her attorney, Scott Williams, for her competency review at the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Oct. 16, 2009. On Nov. 17, Barzee, one of two people charged in the Elizabeth Smart case, will plead guilty to charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, her attorney Williams told The Associated Press. AP Photo/Rick Egan

Wanda Barzee (AP)
SALT LAKE CITY (CBS/AP) Wanda Barzee, who pleaded guilty to kidnapping Utah teenager Elizabeth Smart in 2002, was sentenced Friday by a federal judge to serve 15 years in prison. That includes credit for about seven years she's already served.

Barzee has agreed to testify in pending state and federal cases against her now-estranged husband, Brian David Mitchell.

"I know the gravity of my crimes and how serious they are," Barzee said in court Friday. "I'm just so sorry again for all the pain and suffering I caused upon the Smart family."

Elizabeth Smart's mother, Lois, spoke in court for the first time ever Friday. "Wanda, what you did to our family and to our girl Elizabeth was wrong," Lois Smart said directly to Barzee. "It was wrong and it was evil. ... Wanda, we suffered, but more than that, Elizabeth suffered. She was tortured and tormented."

Barzee pleaded guilty last November to federal charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines in Smart's abduction.

U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball also ordered Barzee to serve five years' probation and register as a sex offender. Barzee will be about 70 when she's released from prison.

Elizabeth Smart poses with her parents, Lois and Ed, outside their home in March 2003 (AP/Deseret News)
She also faces sentencing Friday in state court, where in February she pleaded guilty, but mentally ill, in the attempted kidnapping of Smart's cousin, Olivia Wright, about six weeks after Smart's s abduction.

Smart, whose abduction captured the attention of Americans, was 14 in 2002 when she was kidnapped at knifepoint from her bedroom. She was found nine months later, in March 2003, walking the streets of a Salt Lake City suburb with her captors.

Brian Mitchell, who's 56, is scheduled for a federal court trial beginning Nov. 1. A one-time itinerant street preacher, Mitchell allegedly wanted Smart as a second wife so that he could fulfill a religious prophecy laid out in a 27-page manifesto he drafted in early 2002.

At a federal court hearing last year, Smart said she was taken from her home to a mountain campsite where she was forced into a polygamous marriage with Mitchell and endured repeated rapes and other abuse. She was held captive for nine months.

Smart, who's now 22, is serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Paris.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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