Accused Smart kidnapper’s wife to testify at trial

SALT LAKE CITY — One year after she pleaded guilty to kidnapping Elizabeth Smart, Wanda Eileen Barzee is expected to testify at the Salt Lake City trial of her estranged husband who is facing the same charge.

Subpoenaed to testify by defense attorneys for defendant Brian David Mitchell, Barzee is expected to take the stand today afternoon in U.S. District Court.

Mitchell, 57, is charged with kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines. His trial is in its third week. If convicted, the former street preacher could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Barzee, 65, pleaded guilty to the same charges in November 2009 and is serving a 15-year term at Carswell, a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, where she is being treated for mental illness.

At her federal sentencing, Barzee asked Smart for forgiveness and said that seven years after the June 5, 2002, kidnapping she finally understood it had been wrong.

In her deal with prosecutors, Barzee agreed to cooperate with pending state and federal cases against her husband.

The terms included testifying, but many observers expected that if she was called to the stand, it would be by prosecutors.


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