Elizabeth Smart kidnapper to be released from prison

Wanda Barzee had pleaded guilty to kidnapping Elizabeth Smart in 2002 and helping keep her captive for nine months

Wanda Barzee, convicted for role in Elizabeth Smart kidnapping, to be released from prison September 19

A woman convicted of helping a former street preacher kidnap Elizabeth Smart in 2002 will be freed from a United States prison more than five years earlier than expected.

The surprise move announced Tuesday comes after authorities determined they had miscalculated the time 72-year-old Wanda Barzee previously served in federal custody.

But she also had pleaded guilty in state court to attempted kidnapping in connection to a plot to kidnap Smart's cousin in July 2002, about a month after Mitchell and Barzee kidnapped Smart. Barzee was sentenced in 2010 to 15 years in federal prison, but got credit as part of a plea bargain for the seven years she'd already spent behind bars in both the Utah State Hospital and Salt Lake County Jail.

Smart's abduction from her US Salt Lake City bedroom at knifepoint by a man who came in through an open kitchen window triggered waves of fear around the country.

Wanda Barzee will be released from prison five years earlier than expected.

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Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison in 2011 - almost nine years after Smart's abduction.

Smart, now 30, said in a statement she was "surprised and disappointed" to learn that Barzee will be freed next week. "Therefore, Ms. Barzee's state sentence ends on September 19, 2018", according to a statement from the Board of Pardons and Parole.

They began hearing about the possibility of an early release just last week, he said.

Mitchell is serving a life sentence after being convicted of kidnapping and raping Smart.

She said she is exploring her options and plans to speak publicly in the coming days. She was 14 at the time and was taken to a camp where Barzee, Mitchell's wife, was waiting.

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Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped when she was a teenager. She was transferred to the Utah state prison in April 2016 after finishing a federal sentence in the USA state of Texas.

After completing her federal prison term, Barzee was returned to Utah on April 8, 2016 to serve the remainder of her Utah prison sentence. "The fact that this woman will be free to potentially attempt to make contact with Elizabeth, or even worse, her children, is a truly terrifying thought, and it's creating a lot of anxiety for Elizabeth and the rest of her family", our source continues. She's also become an outspoken child safety activist and advocate for stronger laws against those who harm children, even testifying in the U.S. Congress in March 2006 in favor of the AMBER Alert system and tough laws against child predators.

In November 2009, Barzee pleaded guilty to federal charges.

While she was being held by Mitchell and Barzee in Salt Lake City and later in Southern California, Smart was repeatedly subjected to sexual and phsyical assaults.

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