A homeless street preacher who abducted, raped and kept a 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart captive for nine months was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison.
Brian David Mitchell was found guilty in December of kidnapping Smart from her Utah home in 2002 and transporting her across state lines with the intent to engage in sexual activity. Jurors rejected the insanity defense mounted by his lawyers.
After Mitchell was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Salt Lake City, Utah, Smart told reporters that she was "thrilled with the results that came out today."
"The life sentence – I couldn’t be happier,” she said outside the court building.
Smart, now 23, said she thanks everyone who ever prayed for her or made an effort to bring her home.
"As I said during court, and I'll say it again now, I absolutely 100% believe that Brian David Mitchell knew exactly what he was doing when he kidnapped me, and all the events that followed. ... Today is the ending of a very long chapter, and the beginning of a very beautiful chapter for me," she said.
Police stopped Smart, Mitchell and Mitchell's wife on March 12, 2003, after a tipster spotted them outside a Walmart in Sandy, Utah, just a few miles from Smart's home.FULL STORY