The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole announced Tuesday that it reversed its original decision and determined it had mistakenly not given Barzee credit for her time served in federal prison.
However, the news release goes on: "based on further review and advice from legal counsel, the Board must count the time in federal prison as credit to the Utah sentence and therefore Ms. Barzee's sentence ends on September 19, 2018".
Barzee's husband Brian David Mitchell is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in a high-security federal prison in Arizona. "I appreciate the support, love and concern that has already been expressed and will work diligently to address the issue of Barzee's release as well as to ensure changes are made moving forward to ensure this doesn't happen to anyone else in the future".
Wanda Barzee, 72, will be released September 19 after the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole determined it had miscalculated the time she previously served in federal custody, board spokesman Greg Johnson said in a news release.
The next year, she was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.
The kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart gripped the United States media in 2002 and 2003, ultimately leading to the imprisonment of abductor Brian Mitchell and his accomplice Wanda Barzee after their arrest by police.
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.
On Tuesday, the parole board said she has now completed both her sentences.
Here's a look at who Wanda Barzee is as well as who Elizabeth Smart is and her infamous kidnapping case.
Ms Smart called the surprise decision "incomprehensible" on Tuesday. She was walking down the street with Mitchell. "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.
During Mitchell's trial, Smart testified she was taken from her bed and marched up a rugged mountain path in her red silk pajamas.
February 8, 2010: The Utah state court found Barzee competent to proceed and Barzee pled guilty to aggravated kidnapping.
In 2010, Barzee was sentenced to consecutive 15-year sentences for the federal and state charges. The Board calculated the end of her sentence as January 29, 2024.