Competency Hearing to Start in Smart Case

The two people evaluating the man charged with kidnapping Elizabeth Smart (search) have never spoken with him, and the judge in the case has said they disagree on nearly every aspect of his psychology.

A hearing to determine whether Brian David Mitchell (search) is competent to stand trial is scheduled to start Tuesday and last three days, but it could take much longer to determine whether Mitchell is competent, or able to aid in his defense. The two court-appointed experts "are not close to being in agreement," Judge Judith Atherton has said.

The only point the experts agree on was that Mitchell has a narcissistic delusion, she said.

The process has been delayed by Mitchell's refusal to cooperate with evaluators, who have reached their conclusions by talking to Mitchell's friends and family.

"What makes it most complicated is that neither of them has actually talked to him," said Kimberly Clark, Mitchell's lead attorney. "They're just guessing."

Mitchell, 50, and his wife Wanda Barzee (search), 58, are accused of kidnapping the then-14-year-old from her Salt Lake City home on June 5, in 2002, and holding her captive for nine months. Authorities said Mitchell is a self-proclaimed prophet who wanted the girl for his second wife.

He was reportedly motivated by a "revelation from God" to take and detain Elizabeth in the Wasatch foothills just a few miles from the Smart family's house, according to court documents.

The trio was found nine months after Elizabeth first disappeared in Sandy after being seen walking along the street.

Barzee, Mitchell's wife, has been twice deemed incompetent to stand trial, and is undergoing treatment at a state mental hospital. She's scheduled to be re-evaluated in August 2005.

The two are charged with kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated burglary and attempted aggravated kidnapping in the teenager's disappearance.

Mitchell was deemed incompetent by an evaluator hired by the defense, while the prosecutors' choice has found him fit to stand trial.

The competency hearings follow several challenges and appeals from media outlets, including The Associated Press, to keep them open. Mitchell's defense has argued that a public hearing would taint the jury pool if Mitchell were found competent to stand trial.

Atherton sided with media interests earlier this month.

Mitchell and Barzee also are charged in a second attempted abduction — that of Smart's 18-year-old cousin, Jessica Wright — seven weeks after Elizabeth was taken.