In a surprise reversal from the Utah Board of Pardons, Wanda Barzee will be released from prison next Wednesday.
Barzee helped her husband, Brian David Mitchell, keep Elizabeth Smart captive after he kidnapped her from her bedroom in 2002. Smart spent nine months in the woods with Mitchell and Barzee, who sexually assaulted her on a near-daily basis.
In July, the parole board denied Barzee an early release date. She had asked the board to include eight years she served in federal prison as time spent for state charges. But in a decision released this morning, the board reversed their earlier ruling and ordered Barzee be released Sept. 19.
In a statement originally posted by the Salt Lake Tribune, director of administrative services Greg Johnson stated “Upon further review and advice from legal counsel, the board must count time spent in federal custody toward Ms. Barzee’s state sentence.”
She served time in federal prison in Texas for Smart’s kidnapping and was released to Utah State Prison in 2016.
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