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...]

Jury convicts Elizabeth Smart kidnapper, rejects insanity

Brian David Mitchell 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. [Read more...]

Brian David Mitchell a “Religious Chameleon,” Psychiatrist Testifies for Prosecution

Brian David Mitchell 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. [Read more...]

Religious expert analyzes text in Elizabeth Smart case

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 [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...]