Saturday, December 11, 2010

Elizabeth Smart Kidnapper Found Guilty

After just five hours of deliberation, a federal jury on Friday found Brian David Mitchell guilty of the 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart.

Mitchell, a homeless street preacher, was convicted on charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for the purposes of illegal sex.

Smart, who was the prosecution's star witness and told the heart wrenching story of her abduction and near-daily rapes at the hands of Mitchell, smiled as the verdict was read.

The jury rejected the insanity defense offered by Mitchell's attorneys, and he now faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced on May 25th.

The verdict brings an end to a long ordeal for Smart, who was 14 years old at the time of the abduction and is now 23.

Mitchell had been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial in state court, and the case was subsequently delayed for years before federal prosecutors stepped in.

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