Competency Review Set in Elizabeth Smart Case

A woman charged in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping who was court-ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment will have a competency review hearing next month.

A Utah district court calendar on Thursday showed Wanda Eileen Barzee will appear before Judge Judith Atherton on Oct. 23.

Utah State Hospital officials were expected to provide Atherton with an update about Barzee's progress, state courts spokeswoman Nancy Volmer said. Doctors began to forcibly medicate Barzee with anti-psychotic drugs in May 2008 in an effort to make her competent.

The hearing was scheduled because the statutory time frame in which doctors could attempt to restore Barzee's competency is about to expire, Volmer said.

The last update on Barzee's condition was a hospital report submitted to the court on Sept. 4, 2008.

Salt Lake County Assistant District Attorney Alicia Cook said she did not know the hearing had been scheduled. A telephone message left by The Associated Press with Barzee's defense attorneys wasn't immediately returned Thursday.

Smart's father, Ed Smart, was also surprised by news of the hearing but agreed it could potentially move the 6-year-old case forward.

"My expectation, personally, is that she will be found incompetent and it will end up going to the federal system," where she is also charged, Ed Smart said.

Barzee, 63, and her estranged husband, Brian David Mitchell, were arrested in March 2003 and charged with multiple felonies related to the June 2002 kidnapping of then-14-year-old Smart in Salt Lake City.

Barzee was twice ruled incompetent to stand trial. In 2006, Atherton said Barzee met the criteria for forced medication. Barzee had repeatedly rejected voluntary medication because of her religious beliefs.

In court, doctors said Barzee was delusional and believed she was hearing messages from God through the television. In 2004, a state hospital physician said Barzee believed God had given Mitchell "the keys to the kingdom," establishing him as the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Both Mitchell and Barzee were excommunicated from the Mormon church, in part because Mitchell advocated the practice of polygamy.

Barzee and Mitchell face charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated burglary in the state courts. A federal grand jury has also indicted the couple on charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor.

Mitchell was also found incompetent by the state courts, but Atherton ruled he was not a candidate for forced medication. He has been in federal custody for about year and a 10-day competency hearing is set to begin on Nov. 30.