Eight-plus years after her abduction made headlines across the nation, Elizabeth Smart‘s kidnapper has been found guilty.
A federal jury in Utah delivered its verdict against Brian David Mitchell on Friday (Dec. 10). The street preacher, who according to the AP sang about Jesus while the verdicts were read, was convicted of kidnapping and transporting a minor across state lines for the purposes of illegal sex.
]]><![CDATA[Smart was 14 when she disappeared from her home in Salt Lake City in 2002. She was found nine months later in nearby Sandy, Utah.
Mitchell was arrested in March 2003, but a state court declared him mentally incompetent to stand trial. The case lingered in the court system for several years before federal prosecutors took over the case. Mitchell was declared competent to stand trial in March of this year. Smart, now 23, testified at the trial last month, providing chilling details about how Mitchell forced her into a polygamous marriage and repeatedly raped her.
The sensational case spawned a book written by the Smart family, which was adapted for a CBS TV movie in November 2003.
Mitchell’s wife, Wanda Barzee, is serving a 15-year sentence in federal prison for her role in Smart’s kidnapping after pleading guilty last year. She also testified against Mitchell in his trial.
Sentencing for Mitchell is scheduled for May. He faces a possible life prison term.