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Brian David Mitchell Kidnapping Trial: Defense Rests

On Thursday, Brian David Mitchell's defense attorneys rested their case in their client's kidnapping trial. Mitchell is charged with abducting Elizabeth Smart in 2002 when she was 14-years-old from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah. He and his wife, Wanda Barzee, then kept Smart captive for nine months. Over the course of her captivity, Mitchell sexually assaulted Smart almost daily.

Defense attorneys for Mitchell do not dispute the facts of what happened, but dispute why Mitchell did it. They aimed to prove that Mitchell is insane and did not know right from wrong when he kidnapped Smart and later brought her across state lines to California.

It was a dramatic week in the courtroom. As noted in the previous post, a psychiatrist testified on Wednesday that he believed Mitchell was mentally ill and not the master manipulator that the prosecution has portrayed him to be. He testified also that he believed Mitchell's primary reason for sex abuse of Elizabeth Smart was for reproduction, which is not typical of sex offenders. 

The psychiatrist testified that Mitchell had talked with Smart so often about having children that she had picked out baby names, a detail that upset Smart so much that she walked out of the courtroom to a private area.

Prosecutors will now have a chance to give rebuttal testimony. They say that they have several rebuttal witnesses and testimony could last several days. Both the defense and prosecution say that they will wrap up their cases and give closing arguments by December 10.


Defense rests case in Elizabeth Smart kidnapping (CNN)

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