Courts

Dec 8, 2010 11:51 AM

Doctor: Suspected Smart kidnapper not mentally ill

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) A forensic psychiatrist says a former street preacher charged with the 2002 abduction of Elizabeth Smart was not suffering from severe mental illness at the time she was taken from her Utah home.

New York City-based Dr. Michael Welner testified Wednesday at the trial of defendant Brian David Mitchell.

Weiner was hired by federal prosecutors to evaluate Mitchell in 2009 in what authorities call the most complete evaluation of Mitchell ever conducted.

Mitchell is on trial in U.S. District Court for kidnapping and other charges. The case could go to the jury later this week.

Defense attorneys don't dispute that Smart was kidnapped and held captive when she was 14 but contend Mitchell is mentally ill and can't be held responsible.

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