Prosecutors Seek Blood, Writing Samples of Smart Suspects

Prosecutors Seek Blood, Writing Samples of Smart Suspects

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The homeless couple charged with sexually abusing and kidnapping Elizabeth Smart should be forced to turn over blood, hair and writing samples, prosecutors said.

District Attorney David Yocom and his assistants filed the motions Thursday along with a request for mental competency exams for Brian Mitchell and Wanda Barzee.

The two are charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated burglary in the girl's abduction last June. Each is being held on $10 million bail in the Salt Lake County jail.

Yocom also is seeking a gag order on lawyers for Mitchell and Barzee from 3rd District Judge Judith Atherton.

Attorney David Biggs, whose Salt Lake Legal Defenders office is representing the suspects, refused comment.

In an affidavit, Yocom's chief investigator, Michael George, said the blood, hair and writing samples were needed to identify evidence seized by police. Police are holding the evidence at a state crime lab.

George did not specify the evidence, but police seized knives, clothing and other items from makeshift camps where Smart said she was held captive for her first two months. Investigators have also focused on a 27-page religious tract written by Mitchell that claims God commanded him to take seven wives.

The girl was taken at knifepoint from her bedroom June 5. She turned up March 12 in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy alongside Mitchell and Barzee.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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