The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition to review forced medication ordered for the woman charged in the 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart.
Attorneys for Wanda Eileen Barzee sought a hearing to determine if a Utah judge had correctly ordered that Barzee be given psychotropic drugs to restore her competency for trial.
Barzee, 62, and her estranged husband, Brian David Mitchell, were arrested in 2003 while walking a suburban Salt Lake street with Smart.
A docket entry on the Web site for the U.S. Supreme Court shows justices denied the petition Monday.
"It's disappointing, but not unexpected to be sure," Scott Williams, Barzee's attorney, said Wednesday. "The system has spoken and all our means of appeal for our client have been exhausted."
On Tuesday, the Utah attorney general's office asked the Utah Supreme Court to lift the stay that temporarily halted the process to begin medication, Williams said.
"Now she will take medication and we'll see how that goes," Williams said.
A message seeking comment from the attorney general's office was not immediately returned Wednesday. Salt Lake County deputy prosecutor Alicia Cook said she was "not surprised with the result."
Barzee has been in the Utah State Hospital since 2004, when she was initially found incompetent for trial. Doctors have said she is delusional and that she believes she receives messages from God through her television. Barzee has refused medication in the past.
Experts testifying at hearings in 2006 to decide whether to forcibly medicate Barzee had conflicting predictions about the success of treatment. Those testifying for prosecutors estimated a 70 percent chance of restored competency, while defense attorney experts said a 20 percent success rate was more likely.
State hospital administrator Dallas Earnshaw has said doctors at the Provo facility hope to know if Barzee is progressing within a few weeks of beginning treatment. Doctors had voluntarily resisted a February order from 3rd District Judge Judith Atherton to start medications, pending the outcome of the high court petition.
Williams said much of what's ahead for Barzee is unknown. It's unclear how long it might take to restore competency and unclear how long doctors must try before concluding that might not be possible.
"The judge has ordered medication, but there's no standing order or guidance as to what's contemplated in terms of deadline," he said.
Both Barzee and Mitchell were charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault in the Smart abduction. Like Barzee, Mitchell, a 54-year-old self-styled prophet who claimed to have taken Smart as a plural wife, has been found incompetent for trial. Atherton has not yet ruled on whether he meets the standards for forced medication.
Smart, now 20, was in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday for the release of a government guide to help people who survive kidnappings. She contributed to the guide but did not speak during the 70-minute ceremony.