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Mitchell will seek insanity defense in Elizabeth Smart trial

by | Jul. 02, 2010

News from Utah

Attorneys for Brian David Mitchell, who is accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart, say they will seek an insanity defense during their client's upcoming trial in federal court scheduled to begin Nov. 1.

As was expected, defense attorney Robert Steele filed a notice of intent in federal court Thursday informing the court that he intended to seek an insanity defense and would "introduce expert testimony as to mental disease or defect."

In March, Mitchell was found to be competent to stand trial by U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball. Almost immediately, Steele indicated he would pursue an insanity defense.

Mitchell is accused of kidnapping and raping Elizabeth Smart, who was 14 at the time, in 2002 and holding her captive for nine months. After years of hearings in the state court system, Mitchell was determined to be incompetent to stand trial and not eligible for involuntary medication. He was subsequently moved into the federal court system where a competency hearing was held in late 2009.

Read the rest of this story at deseretnews.com
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