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. Maria

    I am so glad the insanity defense was unsuccessful. With a life sentience he could be paroled. Since he can not be cured of pedophilia, he will offend again if he gets out. I wish there were some way that pedophiles could be kept locked away until they die. They are a constant danger to children and it astounds me that there is so little outcry from the public to protect children. Shows where the priorities are. The protection of children are way down the list of must do's, unfortunately.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Andreas Moser

    I guess Ms Smart wasn't as smart as her name suggests when she allowed herself to get kidnapped.

    May 27, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. anonymous

    I'm glad that Elizabeth Smart got to tell the abuser that he has to pay consequences for his actions. A lot of people never get that chance. Good for her. Again...thanks cnn.

    May 29, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • anonymous

      and every law enforcement person and attorney and such that puts that guy away and keeps him there.

      May 29, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
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