Elizabeth Smart case expected to go to jury

SALT LAKE CITY (BestGrowthStock) – Jurors were expected to begin deliberating on Thursday in the trial of a homeless street preacher accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart, following closing arguments in the sensational case.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers for Brian David Mitchell were scheduled to make their closing remarks on Thursday afternoon, following the judge’s instructions to the jury on the law of the case.

A court official said U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball would hand the case to the jury late on Thursday afternoon.

Mitchell, 57, is charged with abducting Smart, who was then 14, from her Salt Lake City home on June 5, 2002 with the intent of forcing her to live as his young bride.

Defense attorneys have mounted an insanity defense, and were expected to argue that the self-styled prophet could not be held responsible for his actions because he was mentally ill.

Smart, now a young woman of 23, testified during the trial that Mitchell kidnapped her at knifepoint from the bed she shared with her younger sister, marched her several miles into the foothills above Salt Lake City and raped her.

She has described her time as Mitchell’s captive as “nine months of hell” in which she was at first kept chained to a tree and raped nearly every day.

Smart was rescued in March of 2003 after she was spotted by passersby walking with Mitchell and his wife on a street in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy.

(Reporting by James Nelson, writing by Dan Whitcomb)

Elizabeth Smart case expected to go to jury