KUER Local News
Thu December 9, 2010
Brian David Mitchell Case Goes to Jury
By Jenny Brundin
Salt Lake City, UT – After hearing weeks of conflicting testimony, a jury is now deciding whether to find the alleged kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart guilty, not guilty, or insane and therefore not responsible for his actions. KUER's Jenny Brundin reports.
Brian David Mitchell is accused of kidnapping Smart in 2002, and transporting her across state lines for sexual purposes. In closing arguments yesterday, prosecutor Diana Hagen said Mitchell took Smart's dignity and freedom and held her captive as a "sexual plaything." She said Mitchell is not a prophet, but a predatory chameleon with the cunning to adapt his behavior to serve his needs and desires. Defense attorney Robert Steele told jurors that Mitchell was delusional and should be found not guilty by reason of insanity. He said Mitchell believed he was above everyone else, and had a sustained, long-term belief to take plural wives and fight the anti-Christ. If the jury decides Mitchell believed he was acting under the direct command of God, he could be found not guilty by reason of insanity. Dueling psychiatrists were also on the stand yesterday. Dr. Michael Welner is a New York City psychiatrist hired by prosecutors to evaluate Mitchell.
WELNER: My diagnosis of him was pedophilia, narcissistic personality disorder, anti-social personality disorder with psychopathic features.
But not delusional which would meet one of the requirements of an insanity defense. Utah professor of psychiatry Dr. Stephen Golding disagreed with Welner's analysis. He evaluated Mitchell in 2003 and found he suffered from a narcissistic delusion. The jury deliberated for about three hours last night before adjourning. They return to the courthouse this morning. I'm Jenny Brundin,