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Mary Katherine Smart to be on 'Primetime Live'
By Stephen Hunt
The Salt Lake Tribune
Published July 20, 2005 12:01 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2005, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
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Elizabeth Smart's younger sister, Mary Katherine, will be featured with other young heroes who helped solve crimes on an episode of "Primetime Live" scheduled to air Thursday at 9 p.m. on Channel 4.

Mary Katherine - who was 9 when her older sister was abducted from their bedroom three years ago - talks to ABC's Dianne Sawyer about what happened, how she came to remember the identity of the alleged kidnapper and how she has coped with the experience.

Her father, Ed Smart, said Tuesday he has tried to be protective of his children, and was apprehensive about the interview. He said he agreed in the hopes it would be beneficial to other children who have been through traumatic experiences.

"This might help other children who find themselves in bad situations to know that they can do the right things and get through it," Smart said.

In the early hours of June 5, 2002, Mary Katherine feigned sleep as she watched a man force Elizabeth, then 14, to leave with him.

The younger girl did not see the abductor's face. But four months later, she recalled his voice was that of a homeless man the Smarts had hired in 2001 to perform chores at their Federal Heights home.

That man was later identified as Brian David Mitchell, a street preacher. Nine months after the kidnapping, Elizabeth was found in Sandy in the company of Mitchell, 50, and his wife, Wanda Barzee, 58.

The couple were charged in 3rd District Court with kidnapping and sex abuse charges. Barzee was found incompetent and in March 2004 was sent to the Utah State Hospital in Provo for treatment

Judge Judith Atherton is currently mulling Mitchell's fate. If found competent, Mitchell will face a trial.

"I'd like to have it over with because it's dragged on so long," Ed Smart said. "But if he is found incompetent and thrown down in Provo for life, or held in prison, either one of them is fine with me."

As for Mary Katherine, her father said her recollection of events remained consistent during her interview with Sawyer.

"It was very interesting to me to see Mary Katherine talk about it, because we, as a family, really don't try to discuss it," Smart said. "I'd never asked her the whole story. . . . It was a few months ago, so don't ask me what she said, but it was surprising to me what she had to say and could recall."

Smart said he did not seek prosecutors' approval for the interview.

Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom said he had no problem with Mary Katherine talking about the case generally. "But if they are going to discuss specific elements of her testimony, that bothers me a bit, because it could affect the defendant's right to a fair trial," he added.

Ed Smart said Mary Katherine and Elizabeth - who are in Ireland at a harp players conference - are "doing great."

"Sometimes people will say to me, 'I know you say she's doing great, but how's she really doing?' " he said. "But they are both doing well."



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