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Smart Family Pleased with Charges

Smart Family Pleased with Charges

Posted - Mar. 18, 2003 at 4:39 p.m.



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Stacey Butler reporting Prosecutors have filed a list of felony charges against the couple accused of kidnapping, threatening, and assaulting Elizabeth Smart. Brian Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee are both charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, and aggravated burglary in the abduction of Elizabeth Smart. Bail for each defendant was set at $10 million. The two are scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow morning. A preliminary hearing and trial are expected sometime this summer.

The Smarts are pleased with the charges today, and the ten million dollar bail set for Barzee and Mitchell. But a family spokesperson says they regret, for Elizabeth's sake, that aggravated sexual assualt charges are now public.

A Smart family spokesperson said today that Elizabeth's privacy is a top priority. And the now public charges of aggravated sexual assualt are especially hurtful to Elizabeth and her parents.

Chris Thomas, Smart Family Spokesperson: "THERE DAYS WHEN THEY FELT HELPLESS, AND NOW THERE ARE THINGS THEY CAN DO TO HELP HER AND HELP WITH THE PROSECUTION. AS DIFFICULT AS IT IS TO HAVE SOME OF THESE THINGS AIRED PUBLICLY, THE FAMILY'S HAPPY TO HAVE HER HOME AND ON THIS ROAD TO RECOVERY."

In order to protect the case, the Smarts will not comment on it further. They say fully support the district attorney's office in prosecuting Brian Mitchell and Wanda Barzee to the fullest extent of the law. They're willing to do whatever it takes to make sure the pair pay for their crimes.

Chris Thomas, Smart Family Spokesperson: "THE FAMILY IS VERY CONFIDENT THAT JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL AND THEY FULLY SUPPORT THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IN PROSECUTING THESE TWO INDIVIDUALS TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW."

But at the same time they want to avoid a court appearance where Elizabeth would have to take the stand.

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