Smart kidnapping trial moving into 3rd week

SALT LAKE CITY — Opening week testimony in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case painted her alleged abductor as a smart, calculating man who used religion as a ruse to manipulate others and justify his actions — including kidnapping her in 2002.

The trial of Brian David Mitchell on charges of kidnapping and transportation of a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity is set to resume today in U.S. District Court after a break for the Veteran’s Day holiday.

Mitchell’s attorneys have not disputed the facts of the abduction but in opening statements said it’s wrong to conclude he carefully planned the kidnapping. They are expected to try to persuade jurors that Mitchell is mentally ill.

If convicted the 57-year-old former street preacher could spend the rest of his life in prison.


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