Elizabeth Smart Details Kidnapping at Trial

     SALT LAKE CITY (CN) – Taking the stand for the second day to testify against her alleged kidnapper, Elizabeth Smart told jurors Tuesday that Brian David Mitchell forced her to adhere to a sex schedule at 14, that she was nearly identified by a detective during her nine-month ordeal, and that Mitchell tried to take another young wife after the pair fled to California with his wife and accomplice, Wanda Barzee.




     Smart’s testimony was precise, painting a picture of a capable, cunning man who “seemed quiet … calm … very sincere” to outsiders he asked for money, but whom Smart described as “fake.” She said Mitchell put on an act and “wasn’t serious” when he panhandled — or “ministering,” as he allegedly called it.
     “He knew how to manipulate people,” Smart said.
     In the fall after the 2002 abduction, a homicide detective approached Smart, then 14, while she sat with Barzee, Mitchell’s estranged wife, at the downtown library. He said he was looking for Smart and asked the girl to remove her veil, which she was forced to wear in public. Mitchell returned from the bathroom and “was very calm, and he very coolly said only her husband would be able to do that,” Smart recalled.
     As the officer left, Smart said her heart sank. “I felt like hope was walking out the door,” she said. “I was mad at myself.”
     Shaken by the incident, Mitchell allegedly forced her to wear a second veil. He told her that “the world wasn’t ready for the light that was in my eyes,” Smart said. Mitchell also gave her the name Shear-Jashub, after Isaiah’s son in the Bible, and told her she needed to “sever all ties with the world,” she said.
     He planned for the trio to move to California, where he could find another young wife, using a map he had stolen from the library, according to Smart.
     The couple took Smart by Greyhound to California in October and set up camp near Lakeside, an hour outside of San Diego.
     “I felt like I was being sentenced to 20 more years,” Smart said.
     Smart said Barzee confronted Mitchell in California, saying that he was not fulfilling her needs and that he was lusting after Smart too much.
     Mitchell was then “divinely inspired” to create a sex schedule, Smart said: He slept with Barzee from noon to midday, and raped Smart from midday to the next morning. He stuck to the schedule, but deviated once and asked Smart for sex when the pair were near a creek away from the camp, she said. She allegedly declined and threatened to tell Barzee.
     When the prosecution asked Smart, now 23, how it made her feel, she said: “One for the Smart team.”
     Mitchell desired another young girl and used local Latter-day Saints chapels to scout for his next wife, Smart said, because the girl would “have the basic LDS beliefs already.”
     “He said the LDS Church was the true church, but since the death of the deceased prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, that the mantle had fallen on him .. that the church was the true church, but everyone had gone astray,” Smart said.
     She testified Monday that Mitchell tethered her to trees “like an animal,” raped her daily, and forced her to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes because, he said, “in order to rise above all things, I had to sink below all things first.”
     In her testimony on Tuesday, Smart said her captor grew close with one family after having dinner at their home, which he attended with his hair groomed and dressed in normal attire. Mitchell saw a picture of a teenage girl in the home and made plans to return. Days later, he left camp with the same green bags that he used when he kidnapped Smart and headed to the teen’s house.
     But he returned empty-handed, Smart said. A male’s snoring and movement in the house scared him away when he tried to enter through a sliding door.
     Smart said Mitchell talked about moving on to another big city to seek the wives that he desired after the botched plan, but Smart convinced him to return to Salt Lake City, because there were several “girls camps” in the mountains, and he could easily “plunder” more wives.
     The trio hitchhiked back and shopped at Wal-Mart to stock up for their camp in the Wasatch Mountains. When they left the store, they were surrounded by police cruisers.
     Smart said she answered the officers’ question and never outed Mitchell, even as she was handcuffed and taken to the Sandy Police Department.
     “I knew the threats I had been told for nine months,” she said. “And, at the same time, I thought, ‘This is it. I’m done. This is over.'”
     At the precinct, an officer told her she could remove the wig and sunglasses she was wearing. Her father, Ed Smart, arrived soon after.
     “I was so happy,” she said.
     Mitchell, 57, is charged with kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines and faces life in prison if convicted.
     Barzee pleaded guilty to federal kidnapping charges last year and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
     Smart’s cross-examination began Wednesday morning.

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