Hearing in Smart case delayed again

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The drifter and self-proclaimed prophet accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart showed up to his competency hearing 90 minutes late Thursday and was kicked out after he started singing a Bible verse.

The hearing was delayed until Feb. 15.

Brian David Mitchell, 51, and his wife, Wanda Barzee, 59, are charged with kidnapping, sexual assault and burglary counts in the 2002 abduction of the Utah girl.

Mitchell’s courtroom antics Thursday marked the second time in recent weeks that he broke out into song in court. In December, he began singing a Christmas hymn during a court appearance.

Judge Judith Atherton ruled Mitchell was competent to stand trial in August. But she ordered new competency hearings for the former street preacher after last month’s singing outburst – setting up this week’s hearing.

Mitchell’s wife has been declared incompetent for trial and is being treated at a state mental health facility.

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Associated Press, via the Tri-City Herald, USA
Jan. 6, 2005

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