This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Posted: 4:04 PM- The U.S. Attorney's Office is asking that self-proclaimed prophet Brian David Mitchell undergo a psychiatric evaulation at a federal facility to determine whether he is mentally competent to stand trial in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart.
In a brief filed Friday in U.S. District Court, federal prosecutors also said they oppose having an examination conducted at Utah State Hospital, where Mitchell has been held since August 2005.
Mitchell's lawyers argue that federal Magistrate Samuel Alba can review hospital records to make an initial ruling on competency. Should further evaluation be needed, they say, the professionals at the hospital are the most experienced experts available because they have been observing Mitchell for more than three years.
But federal prosecutors say Mitchell has refused to all treatment there, which "suggests that any further evaluation in that settlig is likely to be fruitless."
A state court judge previously found that both Mitchell and his wife and co-defendant, Wanda Eileen Barzee, were mentally incompetent to stand trial. Recently, the same state judge ruled against forcibly medicating Mitchell, saying the likelihood of success was too low. That led the U.S. Attorney's Office to begin its case against the couple, who were indicted last year by a federal grand jury.
Mitchell, 54, and Barzee, 62, are accused of taking then-14-year-old Smart on June 5, 2002, from her Federal Heights home. They were arrested in March 2003 while walking in Sandy with the girl.