Wanda Barzee Pleads Guilty in Smart Kidnapping

Barzee admitted helping to enslave a then 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart.

November 17, 2009, 11:25 PM

Nov. 18, 2009 -- Wanda Barzee appeared in court Tuesday looking very different from her infamous rumpled and disoriented 2003 mugshot, when she was accused in the notorious kidnapping of a Salt Lake City, Utah, teenager.

Barzee appeared healthy and lucid when she admitted that she helped kidnap and enslave Elizabeth Smart, a crime that will land her in federal prison for the next 15 years.

"The person she is now is someone who wants to accept responsibility," her attorney Scott Williams said.

Smart, now 21, was not in the courtroom to hear Barzee's apology.

Still, Barzee asked for forgiveness.

"I'm so sorry, Elizabeth for all the pain and suffering I caused you and your family," she said. "It is my hope you will be able to find it in your heart and forgive me."

In 2002, the Smart kidnapping gripped the nation. A 14-year-old girl, snatched from her bedroom at knifepoint and then held hostage for nine months, allegedly chained up and repeatedly forced to have sex.

Up to 2,000 volunteers a day searched for Smart, who seemed to disappear without a trace.

A tip finally led police to Barzee and her husband, homeless preacher Brian Mitchell… and Elizabeth.

While both Barzee and her husband were arrested, it took years for Barzee to be found competent to stand trial.

She has now agreed to testify against her husband.

"It sounded as if she wanted to take responsibility for what she had done and that was something that was very important to us," said Elizabeth's father Ed Smart.

Federal prosecutors say they hope to prove Brian Mitchell sane enough to face federal charges at a hearing November 30.

Elizabeth Smart's Brave Testimony

Elizabeth Smart testified in October she was raped "on a daily basis up to three or four times" by Mitchell.

Smart testified that on the first night she was taken from her home in 2002 she was guided on a three-mile hike to a canyon behind her home where Mitchell performed an impromptu wedding ceremony.

"He performed a ceremony to marry me to him and after that he proceeded to rape me," said Smart, clad in a white blouse and black pants.

Smart testified that when Barzee became jealous of his relationship with Smart, Mitchell organized a system where he would rotate between the two women.

"Wanda would get very upset with him," said Smart. "She'd say 'All you do is lust after her.'"

Ed Smart said there is no question about Mitchell's competency.

"He is the ultimate manipulator," Smart told "Good Morning America." "He's manipulated the system to the nth degree. He is competent. He is a pedophile and he needs to be brought to trial.

"He hasn't been held accountable yet and I'm hopeful that this will really bring him to accountability," he said.

ABC NEWS' Lee Ferran contributed to this report.

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