Man who abducted Elizabeth Smart sentenced to life in prison
Elizabeth Smart told reporters Wednesday that she "couldn’t be happier" with the sentencing.
May 25th, 2011
06:04 PM ET

Man who abducted Elizabeth Smart sentenced to life in prison

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.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Elizabeth Smart • Justice
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Naughty-Victorians

    Did you ever know that you are my hero....

    You got to love this fine fine family...

    Jews can learn how to be humans from this amazing family...

    May 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MissWendy

    First I think Smarts biological father should have some time alone with this animal. Then put him away and let his fellow inmates use him as their personal toy. Finally put his sick a$$ to death. He will never be able to be a useful part of our society.

    May 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. agonyflips

    As long as their building private prisons, how about they outsource them, say to northern China. We could save a bundle on costs, and if they escape, they'll be easy to recognize. Why hasn't this been done already?

    May 25, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mil

    Sometimes it is kinder to kill the person then make them live with the horror and terror they will experience, everyday, for the rest of their lives because of the pain you inflicted on them. Letting her live was NOT the kinder option. It was purely selfish on his part. Life sentence was very forgiving. He is not fit to be on the streets, sane or insane. He irrepairably damaged many lives. He needs to fulfill the demands of justice. Letting her live does not make any of what he did any "nicer" or in any way deplete the importance of what he did. He is NOT beng punished. He is simply recieving the consequences on his action.

    May 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Why don't you ask her if she's grateful about his decision to not kill her?

      May 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MissWendy

    @ Hunn, let's see how good you are at protecting yourself from someone who breaks in in the middle of the night let alone a 12 year old.

    May 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. david

    Truly a wonderful day for Ms. Smart thank God this mess is finally able to let her move on with her life. I truly believe our justice system could have done this sooner! Our goverment should be embarassed that they took this long to bring Ms. Smart justice!

    May 25, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Smith

    Wow. Maybe you didn't read the earlier comments, but she was abducted from home. What she was wearing at home is her business. These people are sick. It just so happned that Smart was there victom. It could have been any little girl no matter what she was wearing.

    May 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Smokey Waterz

    Waste of money keeping him locked up. Give him a ride to Mexico and tell the drug lords he's DEA.

    May 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MissWendy

    I think some people are getting 2 different kidnappings confused. Elizabeth WAS taken from her bed. This has been the story since day one. Google it.

    May 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bill

    Ill tell you what we should put some of these people that dont seem to care if a person who is kidnapped is killed and put them in the same cell with the kidnapper and see who wins.

    May 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bill

    Killing people is just going to increase the number of people being killed this is a fact. Killing someone who kidnaps someone and then is cought or releases the kidnaped person just gives the kidnapper a reason to kill their victim.

    May 25, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      It might save the taxpayers money but it wont save lifes.

      May 25, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MissWendy

    Bill, real sick criminals don't care about the consiquences and the extremely sick don't care. A person who needs a child to get their jollies aren't worried about the death penalty, only where to find the next child. The truly criminal mind isn't going to rashion the outcome.

    May 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cheryl Richards

    Elizabeth, you are truly amazing.....may God continue to bless you and your family....

    May 25, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    I'm just going to sit here talking to myself while looking at Elizabeth's picture and wishing it were me who nabbed her.

    May 25, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MissWendy

    Bill, you just proved my point on my last post!

    May 25, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
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