No Trial for Elizabeth Smart Suspect

01/12/2004 01:00PM

Wanda Barzee, who last March was arrested along with husband Brian David Mitchell on charges of kidnapping Utah teen Elizabeth Smart, was ruled incompetent to stand trial Friday and committed to a mental hospital.

District Court Judge Judith Atherton, saying that two doctors had examined Barzee, 58, and found her to be "severely compromised or impaired," ordered the woman to a state mental institution for further evaluation. If eventually found competent she could one day face a trial, the Associated Press reports. Another review has been for April 15.

On Thursday, reports Reuters, Barzee waived her right to a competency hearing and has said she does not believe she is mentally ill in the "eyes of the Lord."

But according to AP, one doctor concluded Barzee was paranoid schizophrenic, while the other said she has a shared psychotic disorder, presumably with her husband, self-styled prophet Brian David Mitchell.

Barzee and Mitchell, 50, are charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated burglary in the 2002 abduction of Elizabeth, then 14, from her Salt Lake City home.

The homeless couple allegedly kept Elizabeth as Mitchell's second wife for nine months in Utah and California (keeping her tethered at one point, according to reports). They were found March 12 outside of Salt Lake City. Elizabeth, now 16, is back with her family.

Mitchell's competency hearing is set for Jan. 27 and 28. Two experts assigned to Mitchell disagree on whether he is competent, says AP.

Barzee and Mitchell are also charged in the attempted abduction of Elizabeth's 18-year-old cousin weeks after Elizabeth was taken.

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