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Brian David Mitchell's Brother, Wife Testify for Defense

Brian David Mitchell's wife testified for the defense on Thursday in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping trial. Wanda Barzee, 65, is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for aiding in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart.

Barzee was married to Mitchell when he abducted Smart at knifepoint from her bedroom when she was 14. Mitchell brought the teenager to the mountain camp where he lived with Barzee, said she was his chosen bride and raped her. The couple kept Smart with them as they traveled around for nine months.

Barzee testified for the defense's case. Mitchell's defense attorneys are trying to prove that Mitchell was insane when he kidnapped Smart and, therefore, did not know right from wrong.

According to CNN, Barzee testified that she had raised six children while in an abusive marriage for 20 years before she met Mitchell. She said that Mitchell became her best friend and said he had been abused, too. She said that her first year of marriage to Mitchell was filled with Mitchell's rages, but that she read her bible and learned to be quiet and submissive.

Mitchell's brother also testified on Thursday. He said that he watched his brother struggle through life. He said his brother smoked marijuana and drank when he was younger, but later changed for awhile for the better as he became more involved in religion.

His brother said he changed for the worse after he met Barzee and they became itinerant preachers, wandering the country. His brother, a mental health counselor, said that he thought Mitchell was suffering from a mental illness and urged his brother to get help, which he did not do.

Source:

David Mitchell's wife, brother give accounts of his troubled path (CNN)

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