Defense witnesses testify in Smart kidnapping case

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah advocate for the homeless who crossed paths with the suspect in the 2002 abduction of Elizabeth Smart says the man was shunned by other homeless people because of his religious extremism. Pamela Atkinson told jurors Wednesday that she met Brian David Mitchell at the Salvation Army. She says others didn’t want to be bothered by Mitchell, who used the name “Immanuel.” Mitchell is charged in U.S. District Court with kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for the purposes of sexual activity. Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday. The defense contends Mitchell suffers from a mental illness and can’t be held responsible for his alleged crimes. If convicted, Mitchell could spend the rest of his life in prison.

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