Courts

Nov 19, 2010 1:41 PM by Greg Boyce

Estranged wife testifies in Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The estranged wife of the man charged with abducting Elizabeth Smart in 2002 says he began to stalk young girls a year earlier so that he could practice polygamy.

Wanda Eileen Barzee began her second day of testimony Friday in the trial of Brian David Mitchell in Salt Lake City's U.S. District Court.  She told jurors Mitchell had a revelation that they should take young girls ages 10 to 14 to be his wife because no one else would join their religious work.  Mitchell is charged with kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Barzee pleaded guilty to a federal kidnapping charge last year.  She's serving a 15 year sentence.  She agreed to cooperate with the case against Mitchell as part of a plea agreement.

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