Brian David Mitchell is escorted into the Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse in Salt Lake City.
Brian David Mitchell is escorted into the Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse in Salt Lake City. Jim Urquhart/AP
"A former street preacher has been sentenced to life in federal prison for kidnapping Elizabeth Smart," writes the AP.
As Howard reported earlier, in 2002, Brian David Mitchell "kidnapped Smart from her Salt Lake City bedroom, held her for nine months and assaulted her daily."
Before U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball handed down his sentence, Smart spoke to Mitchell directly.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports:
"I don't have very much to say to you," she said. "I know exactly what you did. I know that you know what you did was wrong. You did it with a full knowledge. I also want you to know that I have a wonderful life now, that no matter what you do will it affect me again. You took away nine months of my life that can never be returned, but in this life or next, you will have to be held responsible for those actions, and I hope you are ready for when that time comes."
The Tribune reports that Mitchell was singing hymns as Smart spoke to him. The paper adds that Kimball said, "A life sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime."
The sentence brings to close a case that has dragged on for years, because, as the AP puts it, "Mitchell was declared mentally ill and unfit to stand trial in state court."
Update at 6:36 p.m. ET. Smart's Reaction:
The Salt Lake Tribune reports on Smart's reaction to the verdict:
"Today is the end of a very long chapter and the beginning of a very beautiful chapter for me," she said.
Smart said she was excited to continue working in the child advocacy arena, and with The Elizabeth Smart Foundation.
Update at 6:42 p.m. ET. 'A Measure Of Justice:'
In a press release, the U.S. Attorney for Utah Carlie Christensen said that while sentence of life in prison for Mitchell will not "erase the pain or emotional anguish," it is a "measure of justice" for Smart.
FBI Special Agent in Charge James S. McTighe added, "It will be nine years ago next month that Brian David Mitchell kidnapped Elizabeth Smart from her home in Salt Lake City. This case demonstrates that the road to justice can be painstakingly long and emotional. However, this case also demonstrates that justice will be served no matter how many days, months, or years it may take.