UTAH STATE PRISON — Wanda Barzee has been ordered to have zero contact with Elizabeth Smart and her family and must stay a certain distance away from her, according to federal court documents.
Barzee, 72, one of the two people who kidnapped 14-year-old Smart in 2002 and contributed to her ongoing sexual and physical abuse, was released from prison Wednesday morning after serving her entire state sentence. A Department of Corrections spokeswoman confirmed she walked out at 7:45 a.m. Details about who picked her up and where she exited on the prison property were not released.
Despite serving all of her state-imposed time, Barzee will now begin five years of supervised release as part of her federal sentence.
Speaking Wednesday night at a previously scheduled event in Pennsylvania, Smart called the day "a roller coaster of emotion."
"At the same time, I've received an outpouring of love, of support, of prayers. And I so appreciate it. It makes such a huge difference to me," Smart said.
"And I just think the best thing that all of us can do, that I will continue to be, that I hope everyone else continues to be, is vigilant in protecting our families, our friends, our communities," she added.
Wednesday afternoon, an order was filed in federal court modifying the conditions of Barzee's supervised release. Among those conditions, Barzee was ordered to have "absolutely no contact," directly or indirectly, with Smart or her family, her attorney, Scott Williams, said.
Additionally, a "geographic condition" was imposed, meaning Barzee will be restricted from certain areas. Williams said he and Barzee stipulated to the condition, but the specifics on where Barzee cannot go or how close she can be to Smart were still being worked out.
The new order also has an "emergency housing condition," which states that Barzee "must reside in an emergency housing facility designated by the probation officer until the probation officer approves an alternative residence."
One of the biggest questions regarding Barzee's release has been where she will live. Last week, members of her family said they would not be taking her in. On Wednesday, Williams declined to get into the specifics of Barzee's living arrangements.
Barzee will have a curfew and not be allowed outside her residence each night from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The U.S. Probation Office recommended these additional conditions of her release "to increase community safety and provide transitional services to (Barzee) that will increase her chances for long-term success," the order states.
Previously, it was announced that Barzee would be required to meet immediately with a federal probation officer, would be placed on the Utah Sex Offender and Kidnap Offender Registry, would be required to actively participate in a mental health treatment program and she cannot consume alcohol, court records state.
Wednesday morning, Barzee's name and picture appeared on the Sex Offender and Kidnap Offender Registry. Later in the day a South Salt Lake motel was listed for her address.
Federal officials promised in the week leading up to Wednesday that they will be keeping a close eye on Barzee, maintaining a "very short leash" when it comes to the conditions of her supervised release. Any violations to the conditions of her release will result in Barzee being returned to the federal prison system, possibly for the duration of her five-year supervision.
Speaking on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday, Smart said she has not only been reassured that federal officials will keep track of Barzee, but there is already an expectation that Barzee will violate the conditions of her release.
Although she has concerns about her own safety, her family and the public in general, Smart said she has been told who will be Barzee's federal probation officer, and has faith in that person.
"I do believe that he will do the job to the best of his ability. So I have faith in him. I just lack faith in her," she told host Gayle King.
When asked what specifically she is afraid Barzee will do, Smart said just on past behavior alone, she believes Barzee is unpredictable.
"I don't know. And perhaps that's what worries me, because I know just how bad she can be," she said.
Smart used words like "evil," "dark" and "twisted" to describe what Barzee was like when she was held captive.
Since Barzee's release was announced, Smart has voiced concern that her captor has not been rehabilitated and is still dangerous. Last week, Smart said she has heard Barzee still carries around Mitchell's manuscript, "The Book of Immanuel David Isaiah," in which Mitchell claimed he had received revelations from God to kidnap Smart and six other young girls to all become his wives.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Williams said there was "no credible evidence" that his client still posed a danger to anyone.
"Ms. Barzee will be thoroughly supervised by very professional and skilled officers at the United States Probation and she will comply with all conditions of her release. There is no reliable evidence to support speculation that Ms. Barzee currently poses a threat of any kind to the community in which she resides or any particular person. It is unfair and counterproductive to assert otherwise without reliable evidence and we hope that people will refrain from doing so. Ms. Barzee's singular desire is to comply with all conditions of her release and to be left alone," he said.
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Without doubt the past few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotion, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their kind words, support, and concern. It has meant so much to me. May we all remain vigilant in watching over our families, friends, and community from anyone who would seek to hurt or take advantage. I truly believe life is meant to be happy and beautiful, and no matter what happens that will remain my goal for me and for my family.
Williams also questioned whether claims that Barzee had been refusing her anti-psychotic medication while in prison as well as refusing to attend treatment classes were accurate.
Ed Smart, Elizabeth's father, told the Deseret News Tuesday night he did not know the details of Barzee's release, including who would pick her up from prison or where she would be taken.
"I actually don't even want to know. Because I think that we're hoping she moves forward with her life and takes responsibility. I don't feel like she has taken any responsibility for her actions, so that's disappointing, but there's nothing we can do about it," he said.
And for the Smart family, "it's going to be another day in our lives. And we're really banking on the federal parole officer watching her."
Smart said he feels that Utah's justice system let his family down and he doesn't feel that the plea deal took them into consideration.
"I'm just hoping that she won't pose a threat, but I have to put my faith in the federal system. And they have been very good, and I'm hoping that's the way it will work," he said.
Barzee, along with her then-husband Brian David Mitchell, kidnapped Smart in 2002 from her Salt Lake home and held her captive until their arrests nine months later.
After years of court battles over her competency, Barzee pleaded guilty in federal court in 2009 to kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor. In 2010, Barzee was found competent to proceed in a separate state court case against her. She pleaded guilty and mentally ill in state court to the 2002 attempted kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart's cousin and was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.
After completing her federal prison sentence, Barzee was returned to the Utah State Prison in April 2016.
In July, the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole announced that Barzee would be held until Jan. 29, 2024. But last week, the board announced that it had erred in calculating the length of the sentence handed down to Barzee by not counting the years she was in the Utah State Hospital, and by not making her state prison time concurrent to her federal prison sentence.
The request to modify the conditions of Barzee's supervised release was signed by Meriska Holt. According to her LinkedIn page, she has been a federal probation officer for 17 years and has a master's degree from the University of Utah in social work from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Contributing: Ashley Imlay