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Archive for Saturday, October 25, 2008

Not guilty plea entered in Smart abduction

October 25, 2008

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— A federal judge has entered a not guilty plea on behalf of the man accused in the 2002 abduction of Elizabeth Smart.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Samuel Alba entered the plea Friday in federal court for Brian David Mitchell.

Mitchell was indicted in March on charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

A shackled Mitchell entered the courtroom dressed in bright red jail garb and was promptly removed after he started singing hymns. Mitchell then heard the rest of the proceedings via audio from a holding cell with two of his four court-appointed public defenders.

Alba also ordered prosecutors to turn over documents from state proceedings related to Mitchell's competency. The judge set a Nov. 12 hearing to rule on whether the court needs to order another competency evaluation for Mitchell, who suffers from a rare delusional disorder and was twice found incompetent to stand trial by a state court judge.

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