Wanda Eileen Barzee is the ex-wife of Brian David Mitchell. Both individuals are accused in the high-profile kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart. 64 year old Barzee is pleaded guilty to both charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor. If convicted, she faces a life sentence plus 15 years for both charges. Although the kidnapping happened over 7 years ago, the whole ordeal hasn’t been easy for Elizabeth Smart or Wanda Eileen Barzee.
A year after the kidnapping, Barzee spent time in a state hospital and was under the influence of anti-psychotic prescription drugs. Now that her mental capacity is restored, she can stand trial. Although Brian David Mitchell performed the worse actions against Elizabeth Smart, allegedly raping her 3-4 times per day, the accused also played a significant role in the case. In fact, when Mitchell spent a week in jail, it was Barzee that held Elizabeth Smart captive. She could of – and should have – let her go and came clean in the case at that time.
Elizabeth Smart was only 14 when she was kidnapped while sleeping in her bed in her Salt Lake City home. She was missing for nine months, and was returned to her family alive. During her captivity, she was married to Brian David Mitchell in a ceremony. Wanda Eileen Barzee even dressed smart in robes for the ceremony.
Wanda Eileen Barzee will be sentenced on May 19, 2010. Until then, she is returning to a Utah State Hospital. According to the Associated Press, she told the courts she was “humbled as I realize how much Elizabeth Smart has been victimized and the role that I played in it.” And apologized to Elizabeth Smart. Elizabeth wasn’t physically present at the hearing, although her father was there. He said “I just hope that Wanda realizes what she did and that it was absolutely wrong and absolutely horrible,”
Kidnapping a child is inexcusable. Although I personally think that Barzee was under the influence of Brian David Mitchell and felt an alliance to him or a fear of him, her actions still warrant consequences. She had a chance to let Elizabeth Smart go. If she would have taken her to authorities when Mitchell was gone, she could have been in less trouble than she is now.
I don’t know what type of sentencing to expect for Barzee. I would like to think that she will end up committed to a psychiatric hospital so that she can receive the help that she needs.
Associated Press http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_ELIZABETH_SMART?SITE=KVUE&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT