Elizabeth Smart Kidnapper Found Guilty

Federal jury finds Brian David Mitchell guilty on both counts

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 10, 2010 12:11 PM CST

(Newser) – A federal jury has convicted a former street preacher of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart more than eight years ago. The verdict reached today finally brought justice for Smart and her family after the ordeal that began when Brian David Mitchell took her from her home at knifepoint and held her captive for nine months when she was 14.

Now 23, Smart testified during the five-week trial that she was forced into a polygamous marriage and endured near daily rapes. The jury, after beginning deliberations yesterday around 5:30pm, found Mitchell guilty of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for the purposes of illegal sex. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Elizabeth Smart arrives at the federal court house for the closing arguments in the trial of Brian David Mitchell Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 in Salt Lake City.   (Colin E. Braley)
Elizabeth Smart arrives at the federal court house for the closing arguments in the trial of Brian David Mitchell Thursday, Dec. 9 2010 in Salt Lake City.   (Colin E. Braley)
Brian David Mitchell enters the federal court house Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 in Salt Lake City. Mitchell is on trial for the June 5, 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart.   (Colin E. Braley)
Brian David Mitchell enters the federal court house Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 in Salt Lake City. Mitchell is on trial for the June 5 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart.   (Colin E. Braley)
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