November 16th, 2010
02:03 PM ET

Prosecution rests in Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case

Elizabeth Smart has testified she was raped and tied to a tree during her captivity.

Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday in the federal kidnapping trial of the self-professed prophet accused of kidnapping Utah teen Elizabeth Smart.


Ten witnesses testified during the government’s case, including Smart, 23, who testified for three days about the ordeal. Brian David Mitchell faces life in prison if he is convicted of kidnapping and transporting a minor across state lines for sexual purposes.

Smart was 14 when she was taken at knifepoint from her bed early on June 5, 2002. She testified that she was led to a primitive mountainside camp, “sealed” in marriage to her captor, raped and tethered between two trees “like an animal.”

She was freed on March 12, 2003, as she, Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee, returned from a winter trip to California.

The focus of the trial now shifts to Mitchell, 57, who is raising an insanity defense. His lawyers do not deny what happened, but claim Mitchell was so mentally disturbed that he did not know what he was doing was wrong.

Mitchell, who has sung hymns in court since December 2004, switched Tuesday to a holiday theme. His songs included Christmas hits such as “Joy to the World,” “O, Come All Ye Faithful” and “Silent Night.”

In what has become a daily routine, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball advised Mitchell he had a right to be in court but waived that right if he continued to sing. Mitchell was escorted, singing, from the courtroom.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Elizabeth Smart • Utah
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. bobweekend

    If you have been following the story you know he was only doing what God told him to do. If you are upset with his actions you should be talking to the man up stairs and ask him why he wanted this action taken. But then you should not question God's motives.
    God works in mysterious ways.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Name*maemae

    Plead insane! Thats a lot of bulls......! How can he know how to hide, cover her etc.... if he is insane? If the jury wants to believe him God bless America!! What went wrong ????

    November 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sonya

    He is using this to get out from going to prison. He need to think about his children , what if this is happining to his children if he hasent done it to them his self he need to be hung by his private part till it falls off while suspended in mid air.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Humanity_01

    I wonder if he'll be singing hymns while he is "receiving" justice in federal "pound me in the A** prison"

    November 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Observer

    One good thing about this story, apparently, is that it gives people the chance to fantasize about the sadistic things they would like to do to others. It's scary that there are so many people with such sadistic thoughts.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. stevo25

    Either way the consequences that await him he must endure, after that its up to God not us the judgement of his soul. I'm sure he

    November 16, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. joy

    i wonder about the mental state this will have nn smart bad dreams future relation with men i pray 4 her

    November 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hungrypirate

    Oddly worded article. “Joy to the World,” “O, Come All Ye Faithful” and “Silent Night” are referenced as Christmas hits.
    Makes me think Brian David Mitchell will be available on iTunes.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. joy

    lol hungrypirate

    November 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. janice

    There is no way the jury will find the defendant insane. If he didn't know what he was doing was wrong he wouldn't have snuck into a house at night and he wouldn't have disguised his victim. Those actions within themselves can show he knew exactly what he was doing and that he knew it was wrong. He can sing in prison which is where he is going to be for the rest of his life. Maybe he can start singing love songs now for his cell mate.

    November 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. LJ

    I don't want to see any more commercials about mormons. please quit tryin to cram your crazy religion down americans throats.

    November 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Iz

    I say Elizabeth Smart should learn Martial Arts-then have that Psycho guy(who kidnapped her)TETHERED TO HIS JAIL CELL.Let Elizabeth Smart have 9minutes alone with him as THIS TIME HE IS TIED UP LIKE AN ANIMAL. 1.SHE cud beat him up for 9minutes-THEN LET SUM OTHER PRISON INMATE NAMED BUBBA have him for 9minutes MORE.Then and only then will she get da last laugh-n everytime that psycho guy thinks about Elizabeth Smart IT WONT BE ABOUT the 9 months of Pain he put her thru-He will THINK ABOUT THE 18 MINUTES OF TORTURE SHE AND BUBBA PUT HIM THRU!-the end

    November 16, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
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