Appeals court halts Elizabeth Smart kidnap trial

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal appeals court has interrupted the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping trial to rule on a defense motion demanding that it be moved out of Utah.

A clerk at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver says a three-judge panel agreed to take up the question of whether Brian David Mitchell can get a fair trial because of publicity his lawyers say has tainted the jury pool.

Clerk Betsy Shumaker tells The Associated Press the trial is on hold pending a ruling by a three-judge appeals court panel.

U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball interrupted opening statements in the Salt Lake City trial today and sent jurors home. Kimball told jurors he wasn’t happy about the delay.

Elizabeth Smart’s mother and sister were at the courthouse and prepared to testify today.


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