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Wanda Barzee denied parole

By Pat Reavy | Posted - Feb. 23, 2011 at 3:57 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Wanda Barzee has been denied parole by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole and will not have another hearing until 2018.

The decision Wednesday was expected. Barzee, who struck a plea deal for both her federal and state court cases, is currently serving time in federal prison in Texas for kidnapping then-14-year-old Elizabeth Smart in 2002 and illegally taking her across state lines.

As part of the resolution of her case, Barzee pleaded guilty and mentally ill in state court to the 2002 attempted kidnapping of Smart's cousin, Olivia Wright, who was also 14 at the time. Barzee was sentenced to up to 15 years at the Utah State Prison for her conviction in 3rd District Court.

Under state law, Barzee is allowed to have a review hearing before the parole board within one year of her conviction. That hearing was Thursday.

Based on her conviction in federal court, Barzee was sentenced to prison until 2018 but could get out as early as August 2016 because of good behavior.

"As soon as she is released, she will be taken into Utah state custody," parole board Chairman Jim Hatch wrote in the parole board's announcement.

Her next parole hearing in Utah has been scheduled for June 2018.

As part of her plea bargain, "Ms. Barzee’s state sentence is running concurrently to her federal time, due in part to her cooperation with the federal prosecution of Brian David Mitchell," according to the parole board.

During sentencing, Barzee was given credit on her federal sentence for her time in custody since her arrest, but was not given credit for that time for her state sentence. If she serves her full state sentence, Barzee would be released from custody in 2025 when she is 79 years old.

Last week, Barzee was excused from attending her parole hearing. But Elizabeth's parents, Ed and Lois Smart, both attended the hearing and pleaded with the board to make Barzee serve her full time.

"I never want her to have the chance of hurting another child again," Ed Smart said.

Mitchell, Barzee's estranged husband and co-defendant, will be sentenced on his conviction in federal court on May 25. He could receive up to life in prison.


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