SALT LAKE CITY – A judge has stayed her order allowing forcible medication of Wanda Barzee, accused in the 2002 abduction of then-14-year-old Elizabeth Smart, pending defense attorneys' appeal.
The attorneys filed a petition on July 11 requesting the Utah Supreme Court hear their case. The state has until Aug. 21 to respond to the petition. The Utah Supreme Court will not decide whether to hear the case until the state's response is filed.
Third District Judge Judith Atherton on Monday signed an order that puts on hold her June 11 ruling allowing for involuntary medication.
Doctors had not yet administered any medicines forcibly.
Barzee, 60, was initially declared incompetent to stand trial in 2004 and ordered held at the state psychiatric hospital, where she has refused to participate in therapy.
Prosecutors sought permission to force Barzee to be medicated.
Atherton ruled that Barzee meets all the requirements outlined by the U.S. Supreme Court in determining whether a defendant can be forced to take medication.
In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors must show a compelling interest is at stake, that forced medication would further that interest and less intrusive means are unlikely to achieve similar results. The medication also must be shown to be likely to render a defendant competent, without doing the person harm or preventing the individual from participating in his or her defense.
Barzee's attorneys argue that forcing Barzee to take anti-psychotic medicine "would be immediate and irredressable," and could lead her to "depression, suicidal ideation and stress reaction including possible post-traumatic stress disorder."
They also contend that prosecutors failed to provide clear and convincing evidence the medication was substantially likely to restore Barzee's competency.
Barzee and her estranged husband Brian David Mitchell are accused of kidnapping Smart from her house in 2002 and keeping her for nine months. They are charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated burglary and conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping.
Mitchell, a self-proclaimed prophet who had done roofing work on the Smarts' home, is alleged to have kidnapped the girl to make her a plural wife.