Smart's alleged kidnapper deemed incompetent

/ Source: The Associated Press

The man charged in the kidnapping of Utah teenager Elizabeth Smart was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial Tuesday.

The decision by Judge Judith Atherton will send Brian David Mitchell to a state hospital until he is deemed capable of standing trial.

Atherton issued her decision after six days of hearings over the past seven months. Mitchell repeatedly shouted Biblical admonitions and sang hymns during the hearings, prompting him to be removed from court several times.

The judge’s decision covered the sweep of Mitchell’s life in a family that testimony showed had a history of mental disorder. Mitchell was the third of six children and a “loner” in a “highly dysfunctional” family, the judge wrote.

Mitchell, 51, is accused of kidnapping then 14-year-old Elizabeth from her bedroom in 2002, sexually assaulting her and keeping her as his second wife.

Mitchell and wife Wanda Barzee, 59, were charged with kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated burglary and attempted aggravated kidnapping. He also is charged in the attempted abduction of Elizabeth’s cousin.