Orange and White
Elizabeth Smart Trial Set To Begin After 8 YearsFriday, November 19, 2010 By Karim Hussain
The man charged with the abduction of Elizabeth Smart is to go on trial, after years of delay due to questions about his mental health as well as a jump from state to federal court. Brian David Mitchell, 57, is charged with the illegal kidnapping and transporting of a minor across state lines in 2002. Should he be convicted, he may spend the rest of his life in a federal prison. In the initial 2003 state case, Mitchell had been diagnosed with a “delusional disorder” and was deemed unable to withstand trial. Due to this, Mitchell was incarcerated in a state hospital where he refused to take medications. After appearing to be competent enough to withstand trial, an expert witness requested that Mitchell be put on trial, additionally accusing Mitchell of malingering. Smart was 14 when she was abducted in the middle of the night. She says she was lured to the mountains where Mitchell claimed to be a religious prophet and forced marriage upon her in a quick religious ceremony. Mitchell claimed that he was the “voice of God on Earth.” Smart believed that his claims were all just a ruse. “Religious revelations came conveniently when he wanted something or when he was trying to calm Barzee (an apparent wife of Mitchell’s)” Smart said. Smart was rescued 9 months later by motorists who saw her wandering the streets with Mitchell and Barzee. Now, 22, Smart is expected to return to Utah from France where she is serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to testify against Mitchell.