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Nation in brief: Woman admits role in kidnapping


Salt Lake City – A woman who helped her husband keep kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart enslaved for nine months agreed Tuesday to serve 15 years in federal prison after admitting her role in the abduction.

Wanda Eileen Barzee, 64, also agreed to testify against her husband, Brian David Mitchell, whose attorneys claim he is not mentally competent to stand trial on charges relating to the 2002 kidnapping of Smart, then 14.

“I’m so sorry, Elizabeth, for all the pain and suffering I caused you and your family,” Barzee said in federal court, where she pleaded guilty to kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor. “It is my hope you will be able to find it in your heart to forgive me.”

Smart, now 22, was not in the courtroom.

‘Geezer Bandit’ strikes again

San Diego – A thin, gray-haired man nicknamed the “Geezer Bandit” is responsible for holding up five San Diego-area banks since summer, according to the FBI.

Investigators said the man appears to be in his 70s. Officials say that in the most recent robbery Monday, he approached a Bank of America teller in La Jolla, displayed a handgun and asked for cash. He fled on foot.

FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth says investigators believe the man is also responsible for robbing four other San Diego County banks since August 28.

Law enforcement officials are offering $16,000 in rewards for information that leads to his arrest and conviction.


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