No Charges to be Filed Today in Smart Case

No Charges to be Filed Today in Smart Case


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(UPDATE) (KSL-TV / AP) No criminal charges are expected to be filed today in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case, prosecutors say. Kidnapping charges against Mitchell and Barzee were expected this afternoon, along with several other charges, but instead prosecutors have filed for an extension through Wednesday.

KSL-TV has learned that only state charges will be filed this week. Federal investigators will continue to assist on the case, and federal charges may be filed sometime down the road. For now the case will proceed through state court.

Drifter and self-proclaimed prophet Brian Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee remain jailed and could be facing aggravated kidnapping charges. A conviction on that charge in Utah could bring anywhere from six years to life in prison.

Mitchell's lawyer suggests that giving his client a lighter sentence could encourage kidnappers to keep their captives alive. Attorney Larry Long says if that happens, "we may be much better off as a society."

Long also tells a T-V station that Mitchell told him he considers 15-year-old Elizabeth a wife, and wants to rename her "Remnant Who Will Return."

Long says he found Mitchell to be intelligent and articulate.

But while the law deals with punishing her alleged abductors, Elizabeth's family and friends are focused on helping her recover.

Yesterday hundreds crowded into the family's church to give thanks for the girl's safe return.

Elizabeth did not attend-- her family says it's just too soon.

Talk at the service was mostly about moving forward and not dwelling on the past.

Relatives say she's picking up the pieces, and trying to get back to a regular routine, like practicing her harp and eating well!

Chris Thomas/Smart Family Spokesman: "ON FRIDAY NIGHT DURING THE LIBERTY PARK CELEBRATION, HER GRANDMOTHER MADE HER A POT ROAST. HER GRANDMOTHER IS AN AVID COOK AND MADE HER THE FULL MEAL, AND SHE SAID THAT WAS THE BEST MEAL SHE'D HAD SINCE JUNE 4TH."

For now the family says the conversations with Elizabeth are being kept light, and not focusing on the painful parts of experience.

In a related story, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson will hold a news conference at two this afternoon to announce who will be on a commission to investigate how police handled the investigation.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story)

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