The homeless street preacher convicted
of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart faces a possible life prison term when he is sentenced on Wednesday, during a hearing in which Smart was expected to address him directly.
Mitchell, 57, was found guilty by a federal court jury in December of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity.
A jury found a rambling street preacher guilty Friday of the 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart in a case that has tugged at hearts around the nation ever since the Utah teenager was snatched from her bedroom and resurfaced nine months later.
Brian David Mitchell could face up to a life in prison when he is sentenced.
More than eight years after Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped at knifepoint from her Salt Lake City home, the case may finally be coming to an end as prosecutors called the last of their rebuttal witnesses, a New York City-based forensic psychologist, who testified about an evaluation he did of the defendant, Brian David Mitchell
The testimony of Brigham Young University professor Daniel C. Peterson seemed to support the prosecution’s contention that the defendant is a smart, cunning person — an argument that runs counter to defense attorneys’ claims that he is mentally ill and can’t be held responsible in the case
Until Monday, federal jurors’ only experience of Brian David Mitchell
was of a man — eyes closed, hands clasped in prayer, softly singing hymns — whom they see for just moments each morning before the judge orders him from the courtroom.
But a different personality emerged as prosecutors played video recordings depicting the homeless street preacher and accused kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart
talking to a judge and police officers.
testified Wednesday that the street preacher accused of kidnapping her in 2002 frequently prayed that the teenager would fulfill her marital duty of having sex – something she said was “about the farthest thing” from her prayers.
Mitchell was a crude, vulgar, self-serving person who used religion to justify his actions, including her kidnapping and rape over nine months, she said, calling him a hypocrite.
Now 23, Elizabeth testified that within hours of being abducted from her bed on June 5, 2002, Brian David Mitchell marched her at knife-point to a mountain campsite above her Salt Lake City home, consummated a hasty “marriage” ceremony, tethered her like an animal between two trees, and promised several times to kill her and her family if she tried to escape.
Eight years after he’s accused of slicing through a kitchen window screen with a knife and whisking away a young girl in the middle of the night, the man charged in the abduction of Elizabeth Smart
is headed to trial in federal court.
Jury selection in the trial of Brian David Mitchell
is scheduled to begin Monday in Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court.
Attorneys for Brian David Mitchell, who is accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart, say they will seek an insanity defense during their client’s upcoming trial in federal court scheduled to begin Nov. 1.
Mitchell is accused of kidnapping and raping Elizabeth Smart, who was 14 at the time, in 2002 and holding her captive for nine months.
After years of legal wrangling over her mental state, Wanda Eileen Barzee was ordered Friday to spend 15 years behind bars for helping her husband kidnap Elizabeth Smart and hold her captive for nine months.
She was sentenced first in federal court, and then a short time later in state court.
Brian David Mitchell is competent to stand trial in the abduction of Elizabeth Smart despite his personality disorders, a judge ruled Monday.
In a 149-page decision, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball said Mitchell can understand the charges against him and help his lawyers in his defense, the standard for mental competency.
Prosecutors on Monday dropped state charges against a woman in the 2002 abduction
of Elizabeth Smart
in exchange for a guilty plea related to the attempted kidnapping of Smart’s cousin.
Doctors at the Utah State Hospital said last fall that Barzee had responded to the treatment and was competent
Atherton accepted that determination Monday but said Barzee remains mentally ill.
Street preacher Brian David Mitchell is purposely adopting a fake religious persona, does not suffer a mental illness and is competent to stand trial, according to federal prosecutors.
In December, a 10-day competency hearing was held for the man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting Elizabeth Smart
in 2002. It was Mitchell’s third competency hearing overall, and his first in federal court.
Leslie Miles, a former employee of Utah State Hospital, took the witness stand during the second day of the competency hearing for Brian David Mitchell, 56, who faces federal charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines.
Mitchell was able to take care of himself and ask for things while in the hospital’s forensic unit but refused to participate in any treatments or therapies, Miles said.
A state court judge said Friday the Utah State Hospital has determined that the woman charged in the 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart is competent for trial.
The hospital’s finding — provided in a report three days ago to Judge Judith Atherton — was announced in Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court. It could mean the case of Wanda Eileen Barzee is headed toward trial, although Atherton first must rule Barzee competent.
The American student Elizabeth Smart has, for the first time, described her nine-month kidnap ordeal after being snatched by a stranger from her bedroom in Salt Lake City seven years ago.
Asked by a prosecutor to describe Brian David Mitchell, the self-described prophet accused of holding her captive for nine months, Ms Smart replied: “Evil, wicked, manipulative, stinky, slimy, greedy, selfish, not spiritual, not religious, not close to God.”
A federal judge has ruled that Elizabeth Smar
t can testify in the upcoming mental competency hearing for her accused kidnapper.
In a ruling issued Monday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball denied a defense motion to bar Smart from testifying in the case of Brian David Mitchell
In letters written to her mother, the woman charged in the 2002 kidnapping
of Elizabeth Smart
has sought forgiveness for any pain she has caused and says she expects to spend the rest of her life in prison.
Meanwhile her estranged husband will soon face another competency hearing.
Once court resumed, Alba entered a “not guilty” plea on behalf of Mitchell, gave prosecutors a week to gather the evidence from the state competency hearing so it could be shared with the judge and defense, and set another hearing for Nov. 12.
At that time, Alba is expected to rule on the government’s motion for a competency evaluation for Mitchell at a federal facility.