One of the individuals convicted in connection with the high-profile 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart reportedly skipped her own parole hearing this week.
According to KUTV, Wanda Barzee was expected to appear Tuesday morning for the hearing at the Utah State Prison.
A board member said the 72-year-old is believed to have “refused to attend her hearing.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Barzee is set to complete her sentence in 2024 but could have been released this week for her role in the kidnapping of then-13-year-old Smart and the attempted kidnapping of the girl’s 15-year-old cousin.
Her husband, Brian David Mitchell, is serving out a life sentence for raping the victim after Barzee stripped her and tied her to a tree.
Smart has been an active participant in the continuing court case but was also absent from this week’s hearing.
She later chalked up the incident to a “silly mix up,” adding that she arrived at the prison after the hearing had concluded.
It’s only 11:00am and today has already been an eventful day. This morning was the parole hearing for Wanda Barzee, one of the people who kidnapped and held me captive for nine months. The funny side of this morning was I got to the state prison once it was already over 😬, that was just due to a silly mix up. And the good news is she was not released. However what I find troubling is that regardless of her threat level she will be released in 2024, six years from now. It is possible that she could be paroled before then….hopefully not. I do not think I’m a vindictive or vengeful person, if change were truly possible in her case then perhaps parole/release could be justified. But I have recently learned that she is still carrying around a manuscript called,”The Book of Immanuel David Isaiah” and is reading from it. In this manuscript were the “revelations” Mitchell “received” from God to kidnap myself and 6 other young girls to all become his wives, it also “revealed” his other highly disturbing and dangerous ideas. This is proof to me that she hasn’t changed, and if the prior 15+ years hasn’t changed her I don’t see how the future years will. I will continue to pray that she will never be a threat to myself, my family, or any vulnerable person ever again. A lot can happen between now and the years to come so in the meantime I will continue to make my family my priority, working to advocate and protect victims and children, and live my life the best way I know how.
Her father, Ed Smart, also arrived late and told reporters that he believes his daughter “has moved on.”
He said it is now “up to health care professionals” to determine if and when Barzee should be released from prison.
According to Ed Smart, his daughter remains unconvinced that her kidnapper has shown any remorse for her actions.
“She’s not acting like a person that is trying to change the way she previously was,” he said, citing a conversation he had with Elizabeth Smart. “Once she gets out she would probably pick up where she left off.”
Barzee’s attorney said he had been prepared to speak to his client prior to the hearing regarding his argument that she has already served her 15-year sentence but has not been given credit for time spent in federal prison.
[Featured Image: Wanda Barzee/Salt Lake County Prison]