Defense seeks dismissal of Smart kidnapping case

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Team coverage Attorneys for Brian David Mitchell, 54, the alleged kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart, appeared in court this morning asking the judge to dismiss the state charges filed against him.

In the State case, Mitchell has been declared incompetent to stand trial, and the courts have ruled the state cannot forcibly medicate him. Mitchell's attorneys think that essentially leads to a dead end and only adds to their client's anxiety when it is unlikely a trial will ever be held.

Prosecutors told Judge Atherton this morning that they oppose the request to drop the kidnapping and sexual abuse charges and will fight for the case to move forward.

Salt Lake County Deputy District Attorney Alicia Cook said, "We don't think it is necessary, necessary to dismiss the charges at this point. We do not think that the case is dead. We think that there are many concerns, and it's valid to put energy and interest into this case. And if there is any possibility of moving forward, we want to preserve that possibility."

A hearing on the defense motion has been scheduled for Feb. 26, 2009.

In the meantime, federal prosecutors are moving forward with their case against Mitchell for interstate kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor.

Mitchell was arrested in 2003, nine months after Smart was abducted from her Salt Lake City home. He faces multiple felony kidnapping and sexual assault charges.


(The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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