SALT LAKE CITY – The drifter and self-proclaimed prophet accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart (search) was removed from his competency hearing twice Wednesday for singing a religious song — the third time he has done that in court in recent months.
Mitchell was removed from the courtroom when he sang "Who's on the Lord's side? Who? Now is the time to show."
When Judge Judith Atherton later allowed him to return, he sang "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven's at hand," and was removed again.
Atherton allowed the competency hearing to continue without Mitchell.
A mental health expert testified that Mitchell once was a functioning member of society who "fell off a cliff" and convinced himself he's a living prophet destined to take young girls as plural wives.
The defense witness, University of California-Irvine assistant professor Jennifer Skeem, has twice examined Mitchell to determine mental competency. She said he had become "recently delusional and more distressed" and was no longer fit for trial.
Mitchell has become convinced that Satan is directing the prosecutors, and decided he will no longer speak with them, Skeem said. He also was distressed by Barzee's recent filing for divorce, she said.
Prosecutor Alicia Cook discounted Barzee's effect, saying Skeem's last interview with Mitchell was in October — a month before Barzee filed for divorce.
Mitchell is accused of taking Smart into the foothills near her home, sexually assaulting her and keeping her as his second wife. The excommunicated Mormon once wrote a rambling manifesto espousing the virtues of polygamy.
Barzee has been declared incompetent to stand trial and is being treated at a state institution.