SALT LAKE CITY – A judge has ruled in favor of forcibly medicating a woman accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart in an attempt to restore her competency to stand trial.
Wanda Barzee, 60, was declared incompetent to stand trial and ordered to remain at the Utah State Hospital in January 2004. Since then, she has refused to take medication.
At an August 2005 review hearing, U.S. District Judge Judith Atherton found there was a "substantial probability" she would be competent to stand trial soon, but doctors said her mental health has deteriorated since then.
According to court documents, Barzee suffers from a psychotic disorder marked by grandiose delusions and paranoia. She has accused doctors of "working against God's plan" and refused to undergo routine medical procedures because she believes they will be used against her, court documents state.
Assistant Utah Attorney General Susan Eisenman, who filed the request for a medication hearing in March 2005, said Barzee cannot be medicated unless the judge finds there is a strong likelihood it would make Barzee competent and there is no less intrusive treatment that would work.
"We are at an impasse without the court's intervention," Eisenman said then.
Barzee and her husband, Brian David Mitchell, were charged with kidnapping then-14-year-old Smart from her bedroom in June 2002. The girl was allegedly taken into the foothills near her home, sexually assaulted and kept as Mitchell's second wife. The three were found in March 2003 in a suburb about 15 miles south of Salt Lake City.