SALT LAKE CITY – Attorneys for the woman who spent 15 years in prison for kidnapping Elizabeth Smart say she just wants to be left alone.
Wanda Barzee was released from state custody Wednesday morning, slipping past reporters who were waiting to see her leave.
Her attorney, Scott Williams, says there are very strict guidelines she will have to follow from now on. For instance, Barzee is not allowed to have any kind of communication with her husband, convicted kidnapper Brian David Mitchell. Plus, Williams says, “She’s to have absolutely no contact, directly or indirectly, with any member of the Smart family.”
Williams also says they offered a restriction of their own that Barzee will follow.
“We have volunteered a condition restricting her geographically from certain areas that the Smart family might find themselves,” he says.
He says his client wants to comply with the conditions, and she hopes that people will leave her alone enough to show she’s in compliance.
However, Smart’s father, Ed Smart, says he believes Wanda Barzee is still very ill, mentally.
“My understanding is, in the prison, she didn’t take any treatment and she didn’t take any medication. Getting up in church and talking about Brian David Mitchell’s bible… that would indicate to me that she is still very much on the same page as she was when Elizabeth was abducted. That’s disturbing to me,” he says.
Still, he understands there is nothing more they can do to keep Barzee in prison.
“One day, she was going to get out, regardless. I’m just really grateful there is a federal parole board watching her and she’ll have to comply with them or she’ll be back in prison.”
Elizabeth Smart was in Pennsylvania, speaking at Lock Haven University about stalking, campus rapes and how people can overcome abuse and trauma.
“Those are very important issues to me. I feel like being here tonight is a statement in my moving forward and being able to continue to do what I feel is important,” she says.
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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.
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