Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Former street preacher given life in Utah kidnap, rape case

SALT LAKE CITY — Elizabeth Smart says she was thrilled with the two life sentences given to the man who kidnapped her from her Utah home nearly nine years ago.

Smart said at a news conference Wednesday after the hearing that she believes defendant David Brian Mitchell knew exactly what he was doing when he abducted and raped her, despite arguments by his lawyers for years that he was mentally incompetent to stand trial.

She says the sentencing, which came on National Missing Children's Day, marks the end of a long chapter in her life as well as a beautiful new beginning.

She says she wants to work to help bring other missing children back to their families and see abductors brought to justice.

A jury unanimously convicted the 57-year-old Mitchell in December of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for sex.

Smart took the witness stand and confronted her abductor in court for the first time since the abduction ended

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