Possibility of More Charges May Be Delaying Smart Case

Possibility of More Charges May Be Delaying Smart Case

Save Story

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

John Hollenhorst reporting Authorities had planned to file criminal charges Monday in the Elizabeth Smart case. But that has now been postponed.

The delay doesn't seem to be caused by any particular problems in the case. But it may be due to the possibility of additional charges being filed.

Kidnapping charges are considered virtually certain against Brian Mitchell AND Wanda Barzee. Mitchell is suspected of abducting Elizabeth Smart from her bedroom. Barzee reportedly told friends the kidnapping was divinely inspired, and that Elizabeth was meant to become the second of seven wives for Mitchell.

The couple allegedly held Elizabeth in a mountain campsite and performed some sort of marriage ritual shortly after the kidnapping. Other charges against the couple are expected... but authorities haven't said yet what they will be.

One key decision has been made. The prosecution will be done in a state court, initially, not federal court. A legal expert told us the state-first strategy means federal charges CAN be filed later without running into a double-jeopardy issue.

One question that's really up in the air today is whether Brian Mitchell has a defense lawyer.

Salt Lake attorney Larry Long told KUTV yesterday HE is Mitchell's lawyer. Oddly, he seemed to be admitting Mitchell's guilt in that interview, arguing for a light sentence.

Other attorneys today questioned whether Long really has the right to speak for Mitchell. One government lawyer says Long routinely contacts all jail inmates, seeking new clients.

Long would not return phone calls today and his office would not confirm his relationship with Mitchell.

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast