USA v Brian David Mitchell, Competency decision (US District Ct, Utah, Central Division 2010).

On 6/5/02, Elizabeth Smart, age 14, was kidnapped from her Utah home. She was found 3/12/2003 in Sandy, UT. With her was Brian Mitchell and Wanda Barzee, who were arrested. Smart accused Mitchell of kidnaping and raping her repeatedly. Both Mitchell and Barzee were found incompetent to stand trial in a UT state court and hospitalized. Barzee was eventually restored to competency.

However, after much testimony, Mitchell was again found incompetent by Judge Atherton (download Atherton's 2005 opinion via the above URL). Mitchel was then accused of Federal charges and new competency hearings were held in the US District Court in 2009. In addition to a new round of psychiatric experts, both Barzee and Smart testified. On 3/1/2010, Judge Kimball ruled Mitchell compentent. The opinion can be downloaded via the above URL.

The opinion offers a remarkably detailed description of Mitchell's life (including his time in the hospital) and of Smart's time with him. His goal, it seems, was the establishment of a parasitic, pedophillic, polygamous, sadistic LDS cult consisting of kidnapped LDS girls as his "wives" and followers. The opinion details his religious ideas, which turn out to be not delusional (as Atherton held), but entirely derivative.

The opinion painstakingly details Mitchell's apparent control of his bizarre behavior, his ability to cooperate with his attorneys, and his understanding of the charges. Along the way, it offers a look at LDS apocalyptic theology. (editor's abstract)

Download the pdf