Openings begin in Elizabeth Smart kidnap trial

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Opening statements have begun in the Salt Lake City trial of the man accused of kidnapping 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart in 2002. A federal court jury was seated Thursday for Brian David Mitchell’s trial on kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor charges. The panel of nine men and five women includes two alternates. If convicted, Mitchell could spend the rest of his life in prison. Smart was 14 when she was snatched from her bedroom. She was found with Mitchell nine months later, in 2003. Defense attorneys argue he can’t get a fair trial because of publicity, and have asked a federal appeals court to move proceedings out of Utah. The girl’s mother and sister could be the first witnesses to testify after statements by prosecutors and defense lawyers.

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