Seven years ago, in 2002, Smart was abducted, at knife point, from her bedroom in Federal Heights. Her younger sister Mary Katherine aged 9, too afraid to move, pretended to be asleep, as the abduction took place. She was later able to describe Mitchell.
Smart was held captive for nine months by self-proclaimed Mormon prophet and street preacher, Brian David Mitchell and his wife and Wanda Barzee.
Smart was attached to two trees, by a cable, bolted to her leg, so as to prevent her from escaping, just 3 ½ miles from her home. Smart testified in court that Mitchell was obsessed with sex and that he raped her three to four times a day throughout her captivity. Mitchell forced her to take drugs and alcohol to lower her resistance to his sexual advances.
The couple moved to San Diego before eventually returning to Utah, keeping Smart with them.
Mitchell and Barzee were charged with kidnapping and sexual assault, when Smart was finally recognized and released, while walking along the street of a Salt Lake City suburb in June 2003.
The prosecution has been steeped in a long and hard controversy, as Mitchell and Barzee were ruled mentally incompetent by State courts. They were confined indefinitely, in a Utah psychiatric State Hospital.
Mitchell interrupted earlier court hearings with his loud and persistent singing of hymns. He may therefore have to participate in the current hearing via video link.
Ed Smart fully believes his daughter will help show that Mitchell is absolutely competent to stand trial and that “Mitchell puts on a good show for everyone in court. Elizabeth will be able to paint a true picture of Brian Mitchell. The manipulation, the coercion and what he is absolutely like.”
“Life continues”, reveal an apparently well adjusted Elizabeth, during an interview on the Oprah Winfrey show. Elizabeth from her experience believes Mitchell and Barzee are mentally competent and should bear the consequences of their actions.”Mitchell had an excuse for everything he did with a religious side to it.”
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