Guilty Smart Trial Concludes

Sunday, December 12, 2010 - 10:37am

Brian David Mitchell convicted of kidnapping and rape of Elizabeth Smart.


It's the word Elizabeth Smart and her family have waited more than eight years to hear.

In a trial that has been filled with emotion, outbursts and drama self-proclaimed prophet Brian David Mitchell was found guilty for the 2002 kidnapping of then 14-year-old Smart.

For 20 days jurors listened to dramatic and often emotional testimony, the horrifying moments of the abduction when she taken at knife-point from her Salt Lake City bedroom, followed by details of the nine months Smart was held against her will, drugged and forced to withstand nearly daily rapes.

During her testimony, the now 23-year-old Smart told the court how Mitchell threatened to kill her and her family if she tried to escape.

Her courage and candor on the stand was an inspiration to those trying the case.

"The beginning and the end of this story is attributable to a woman with extraordinary courage and extraordinary determination, and that is Elizabeth Smart," said US Attorney Carlie Christensen.

Defense attorneys tried to claim Mitchell is mentally ill, something his family agrees with.

"He's too engrossed in his megalomania as being Emanuel, God among us you know," said Mitchell's father, Shirl.

Prosecutors didn't buy it.

They claimed he faked his illness and is nothing more than a sexual predator.

It took the jury just hours to agree on a verdict.

Several times throughout the trial Mitchell was removed from court for singing outbursts, and once taken to the hospital after collapsing.

Mitchell could face up to life in prison when he is sentenced next May.

His wife at the time of the kidnapping, Wanda Barzee, pleaded guilty to her role in the Smart case and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

She claims she was manipulated by her husband's religious control over her life.

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