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Smart trial: Defense calls on therapists

November 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A federal trial resumed after the holiday break in Salt Lake City, Utah for the man charged in the 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart. The defendant's lawyers on Monday focused on building an insanity defense.Smart was 14 when she was taken from her home at knifepoint. She was found nine months later.

Brian David Mitchell is charged with kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for the purposes of illegal sexual activity.

The trial is heading into its fourth week, and the defense called on psychiatric evaluators to testify about Mitchell's competency.

A therapist from a hospital where Mitchell was incarcerated from 2005 to 2008 testified on Monday. Gregory Porter told jurors that he was skeptical about whether Mitchell was mentally ill when he was first admitted in 2003.

Porter said he later diagnosed Mitchell as delusional, particularly about religion.

Prosecutors argue that Mitchell is faking mental illness to avoid prosecution.

Smart has testified that she was forced to enter a polygamous marriage with Mitchell, endured near daily rapes and was forced to use drugs and alcohol.

If convicted, Mitchell could spend the rest of his life in prison.


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