Elizabeth Smart's Co-Kidnapper to Plead Guilty

Wanda Barzee in court on kidnapping charges today
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2009 4:10 AM CST
Elizabeth Smart, right, walks out of the federal courthouse with her mother Lois Smart after testifying at a competency hearing for Brian David Mitchell last month.   (AP Photo/Colin Braley)
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(Newser) – A woman accused of helping kidnap schoolgirl Elizabeth Smart in 2002 is expected to plead guilty today. Wanda Barzee could face a life sentence on kidnapping charges, although her lawyer declined to comment on whether her guilty plea is coming as part of a deal. Barzee was ruled competent to stand trial last month after completing 15 months of treatment with anti-psychotic medications, AP reports.

Smart told a hearing last month that Barzee washed her feet ahead of a ceremony in which she was declared the polygamous wife of Barzee's husband, street preacher Brian David Mitchell. A judge has ruled that Mitchell can't be forcibly medicated to make him fit to stand trial. Smart's father says he is aware of the expected guilty plea, but can't reveal specifics. "We are very much behind the US attorney in what they're doing," he told the Salt Lake Tribune.