Woman pleads guilty, asks forgiveness for Elizabeth Smart abduction

SALT LAKE CITY — Seven years after she was abducted at knifepoint, Elizabeth Smart finally has an apology — and a guilty plea — from one of her kidnappers.

Elizabeth Smart kidnapper

SALT LAKE CITY — Seven years after she was abducted at knifepoint, Elizabeth Smart finally has an apology — and a guilty plea — from one of her kidnappers.

“I am so sorry, Elizabeth, for all the pain and suffering I have caused you and your family,” Wanda Eileen Barzee, 64, said Tuesday. “It is my hope that you will be able to find it in your heart to forgive me.”

The appeal came minutes after Barzee pleaded guilty to federal charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor in U.S. District Court.

She also said she was “humbled as I realize how much Elizabeth Smart has been victimized and the role that I played in it.”

Smart, now 22 and preparing to serve a mission in Paris for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was not in court to hear the apology. But her father, Ed Smart, said outside court that forgiveness was possible.

“Absolutely,” he said. “We all make mistakes in life … and if we can’t forgive each other, heaven help us.”

During the hearing, he said he hoped Barzee realized what she did was “absolutely wrong and absolutely horrible.”

Smart was 14 when she was taken from the bedroom of her Salt Lake City home, sparking a search that riveted America. Nine months later, in March 2003, Barzee and her now-estranged husband Brian David Mitchell were arrested after they were spotted walking on a suburban street with Smart.

Elizabeth Smart has said that within hours of the abduction, Mitchell took her as a polygamous wife and raped her.

Just Posted

Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

Murder charges laid against woman from the Sunchild First Nation

The 25-year-old female victim was found dead on Dec. 12

Canada caught between 2 powers, feeling alone in the world

TORONTO — First U.S. President Donald Trump attacked Canada on trade. Then… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

WHL’s Thunderbirds, Silvertips open to NHL joining Seattle hockey market

TORONTO — The Seattle area’s major junior hockey teams aren’t worried about… Continue reading

Canadian freestyle skier Karker excited for Dew Tour’s modified superpipe

Rachael Karker has a renewed sense of confidence heading into her second… Continue reading

CBS settled with Dushku over ‘Bull’ star’s sexual comments

LOS ANGELES — CBS reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement last year… Continue reading

Kanye reignites Drake feud on Twitter, alleges threats

LOS ANGELES — Kanye West is not sending Christmas cheer to Drake.… Continue reading

Councillors in Toronto, Ottawa vote to allow retail cannabis stores

TORONTO — Councillors in Toronto have voted to allow retail pot shops… Continue reading

Barry Cooper: Separation has become a real possibility, thanks to Ottawa’s abuses

In the past couple of weeks, a retired senior oil executive, Gwyn… Continue reading

Most Read