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.
Category: Brian Mitchell and Wanda Barzee
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.
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.
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.
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 Smart 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.
Judge Judith Atherton wrote in a 44-page decision that the likelihood that psychotropic medications would help Mitchell is too low to warrant forcing him to take them.
U.S. District Attorney Brett Tolman subsequently announced Friday that his office has started the process to prosecute Mitchell in federal court.