Judge To Schedule Cell Hearing for Barzee

Judge To Schedule Cell Hearing for Barzee

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Sandra Yi reporting One of Elizabeth Smart's alleged kidnappers is still not competent to stand trial. But a judge may decide whether she can be forced to take medication.

Barzee has been in the state hospital for more than a year and a half, and refuses to take medication. A doctor testified, all treatment options have been exhausted, and that medication may restore her to competency.

Her attorneys argued that the law states Barzee should be released. That's because the judge could not make a decision today, on whether Barzee has made reasonable progress toward competency.

3rd District Judge Judith Atherton said she needed more information before making that determination and denied defense attorney's request. The judge said, based on hospital reports, Barzee is still incompetent.

The question now, is where do they go from here?

The judge will schedule a Cell Hearing, the first ever in Utah, that may determine whether Barzee can be forced to take medication. That hearing is styled on a recent Supreme Court Case, where the defendant objected to being forced medicated just so he can be competent and the state could try him. The Supreme Court decided that the state should not be able to do that, that the state needs to take in to account all circumstances, including the benefit of the defendent and the state.

Barzee's attorneys say they will argue against forced medication.

Scott Williams, Defense Attorney: "Our client doesn't want to be forced medicated. That's why we need a hearing. If she didn’t' care, she'd be getting medication right now."

Kent Morgan, Prosecutor: "I don’t' think it's appropriate to suggest that mental health is something the state can be an advocate for. I think it's fair to say, let's find out what the mental state is, and let's argue the truth to the court. I think that's the right thing to do."

Barzee appeared in court today wearing a blue dress and tennis shoes. She had cut her hair short. She smiled and interacted with her attorneys quite a bit during the hearing, even saying 'good job' after one of them argued for her release.

The doctor who evaluated her said, she remains incompetent and suffers from psychotic disorder.

Barzee will remain in State Hospital. The Cell Hearing will happen sometime this fall.

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