Mitchell sentenced to life in prison for kidnap, rape of Elizabeth Smart

Brian David Mitchell 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. [Read more...]

Defense witnesses flesh out Brian Mitchell’s earlier life

Brian David Mitchell 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. [Read more...]

Elizabeth Smart finishes Utah trial testimony

Elizabeth Smart Elizabeth Smart 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. [Read more...]

Elizabeth Smart tells story of survival

Elizabeth Smart 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. [Read more...]