Accused Utah Kidnapper Sings at Trial

The man charged with kidnapping teenager Elizabeth Smart was kicked out of his mental competency trial Friday after he began singing a religious hymn, the fourth time he has been removed from hearings for singing.

As Brian David Mitchell was led away, he shouted, “He mocks and scorns the son of God. … You know I speak the truth. You know I speak the truth.”

The hearing then resumed with defense expert Stephen Golding testifying that Mitchell has become increasingly more mentally disturbed and unfit for trial.

Golding said Mitchell has vowed to do everything possible to disrupt the trial and has said he will not allow Elizabeth — who he contends is his wife — to be questioned on the witness stand.

Prosecutors argue that Mitchell is competent to face trial.

Mitchell, 51, a self-proclaimed messenger of God, is accused of kidnapping then 14-year-old Elizabeth in 2002, sexually assaulting her and keeping her as his second wife.

He and his wife, Wanda Barzee, 59, are charged with kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated burglary and attempted aggravated kidnapping. He is also charged in the attempted abduction of Elizabeth’s cousin seven weeks after her kidnapping.

Mitchell’s lawyers have said he has grown delusional in jail since September, when he was declared competent after seven months of evaluations. He was ordered to undergo a new round of mental evaluations in December after he broke into a hymn during a hearing.

Barzee, who has filed for divorce, has been ruled incompetent to stand trial and is being treated at a state facility.

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Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Associated Press, via SFGate.com, USA
Mar. 11, 2005
Mark Thiessen, Associated Press Writer
sfgate.com

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday March 12, 2005.
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