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. Tennessean

    This guy should be found guilty,then taken outside and hanged. these sorry pieces of crap like him. pretending mental illness,singing hymms in court. trying for sympathy, if the Mormons there believe this trash is a Phrophet,they better burn all their bibles,find a new one and start over. he is a Phrophet alright,of Satan himself. kill this snake, get him off the earth. no keeping him around in prison feeding and wasting money on him for years. sorry,an eye for an eye,a tooth for a tooth sometimes is what will keep these snakes eradicated........

    November 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • justaguy

      There isn't a serious Mormon in the world that, if familiar with this case, would think this guy is really a prophet. He proclaims himself to be a prophet and uses religious terminology and speech but that's the extent of it. Smart herself pointed out his total lack of prophetic deportment. Remember the bible says "by their fruits ye shall know them". There's no way this guy is really a prophet.

      November 16, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr J

      This guy was excommunicated from the mormon church.

      November 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. probably not

    Pedobear says "let me at him"

    November 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Great...

    now Prophets are going to be viewed as possible malestors; crazy is understandable, but now the added stereotype will eradicate the office.

    November 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. awful

    The best punishment i have hear is to take this guy into a barn. You staple his unit to a wall. Set the barn on fire and hand him a knife.

    November 16, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |


      November 16, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • FM


      November 16, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Then he can just pry the staple loose.

      November 16, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bartok

    Might I suggest a maid's get up and having him fitted for a nice spiny pineapple?

    November 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Observer

    It's obvious that Mitchell isn't the only sadist around.

    November 16, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • FM

      It's obvious that Mitchell deserves to suffer for the pain he has caused.

      November 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      It's also obvious that some people are getting pleasure from thinking about torturing other people who torture people.

      November 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bekah

    I remember reading something shortly after she had been rescued. It was Elizabeth talking about why she didn't run, and it was because they told her that they were watching her family and sisters and such. He totally manipulated her. Someone who is mentally unstable can't have a hold on someone that strong, even a 14 year old girl. Clearly he has some mental issues, but he knows exactly what he did and he knew it at the time. He's playing up his mental instability now, so his punishment is less severe.

    November 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. m

    He's as nutty as a fruitcake. NOT!

    He knows exactly what is going on. And he knows exactly what he is doing.

    I don't know how his lawyer can live with himself or sleep at night.

    Lethal injection immediately and let the Smarts get on with their lives. They seem to be good, decent, normal people. They never sought the limelight or publicity like some people in these situations.

    As hard as it seems to believe this could have happened to anyone of us. Unless you live in a fortress you expect to go to sleep at night and everything will be fine in the morning.

    November 16, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Coverup

    This was a fraud from the beginning. The girl got pregnant and her crazy mormon parents hid her out in San Diego until she gave birth so the "community" wouldn't ostracize them. They got rid of the kid and blamed the whole "disappearance" on a crazy bum who had the bad luck of doing some handyman work for them in the past. They manipulated the media and the "american public" from the start. This should be news but for other reasons than what you read.

    November 16, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Speedro

      I remember hearing that theory. Hahahahaha

      November 16, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • berational

      The police, among others, have testified that they saw "the bum" with a young women that was likely Smart over the 9 months. Are they all part of the coverup too? Your only piece of supporting evidence is the 9 month period of time.

      November 16, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • FM

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Thanks for the laugh coverup.

      November 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. FM

    If the jury falls for his insanity act in court then they are insane. Mitchell knew from day one that what he was doing was wrong. His actions during the 9 months he had Smart scream of it.

    November 16, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. patricia

    I just say. Get it over with!

    November 16, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Hunter

    He's not legally insane, but he is CRAZY, SICK and EVIL. He will be convicted.

    November 16, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joelan3

    What is it with so called religious people and pedophiles? the problem is for every one child we find, many more are never found. they're sick people that need to be turned into Eunuchs.

    November 16, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Justice

    Verdict: Guilty!
    Sentence: (involves hammer, nails, rusty knife, and fire) You can figure this one out.

    November 16, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice

      Hint: The nails are for the 'junk'.

      November 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      There are a lot of sadists around.

      November 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Hammer, nails, rusty knife, and fire? Repair the handle with the hammer and nails, then apply the knife to the fire until it's red hot, beat with hammer, repeat. All the tools for fixing a knife!

      November 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Observer

    As soon as they get him wired up. they can start working on his wife.

    November 16, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
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