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Utah

Suspect may be playing up illness

October 08, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Federal court papers show that a forensic psychiatrist believes the man charged in the abduction of Elizabeth Smart suffers from pedophilia, narcissism and malingering, a condition that suggests he may be exaggerating his illnesses to avoid prosecution.

The full report by New York City-based Dr. Michael Welner has not been made public. But details about his diagnosis of Brian David Mitchell appear in a motion filed Sept. 29 in Salt Lake City by prosecutors who hired Welner as an expert. Defense attorneys want to prevent Welner from testifying.

Mitchell's competency for trial on charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor is in dispute. A competency hearing is set for Nov. 30.

Smart was 14 when she was taken from her home at knifepoint in 2002. Now 21, she testified in federal court last week as part of the competency proceedings.

She said that Mitchell forced her into a religious marriage, raped her daily and knew he could be punished.

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