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Brian David Mitchell Kidnapping Trial: Psychiatrist for Mitchell Testifies

The past week was a dramatic one in the trial of Brian David Mitchell, the man charged with kidnapping Elizabeth Smart when she was 14-years-old in 2002 and keeping her captive as his "wife" for 9 months.

On Tuesday, Brian David Mitchell apparently suffered a seizure during the court session. A defense attorney for Mitchell said that Smart had testified at one point to having witnessed a seizure during her captivity, and he said it was real.

On Wednesday, a psychiatrist testified who had extensively interviewed and observed Brian David Mitchell while he was in a state hospital for the mentally ill. Mitchell's defense attorneys are aiming to prove that Mitchell is suffering from mental illness to the point where he did not know right from wrong when he kidnapped Smart and repeatedly sexually assaulted her during the course of her captivity.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the psychiatrist believes that Mitchell suffers from delusional disorder, which may also be exacerbated by schizophrenia. He also called Mitchell's relationship with his wife, Wanda Barzee, "toxic" and said that she served to "pour gas" on his delusions.

The psychiatrist testified that he believes that delusional disorder runs in Mitchell's family and that his first felony-level sexual offense didn't happen until he was in his 40s, which is when he would expect to see the onset of delusional disorder. He testified that, unlike the prosecution, he believes that Mitchell is not a master manipulator, but mentally ill.

Source:

Smart Trial: Barzee fueled Mitchell's delusions (The Salt Lake Tribune)

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