SALT LAKE CITY – A street preacher charged with kidnapping teenager Elizabeth Smart (search) was removed from court Tuesday after shouting Biblical admonitions, the fifth time he has been removed from hearings for such a disruption.
Brian David Mitchell (search) was in his defense chair only seconds before the outburst: "Awaken, arise Israel. Come forth, Babylon. Repent, repent for the kingdom."
Mitchell's loud voice could be heard from down the hall after he was taken away from the hearing to gauge his mental fitness for trial. The hearing resumed Tuesday after a two-month break.
Prosecution expert Noel Gardner (search), who testified in March that Mitchell was competent to stand trial, said Mitchell's conduct Tuesday was "outrageous and bizarre" but not evident of a mental disease.
"I think his [religious] ideas are extraordinarily irrational but just because you're irrational doesn't mean you have a mental disease. All of us hold irrational ideas," Gardner testified.
In spite of Mitchell's repeated interruptions, Judge Judith Atherton has allowed the hearings to continue without him.
Mitchell, 51, a self-proclaimed messenger of God, is accused of kidnapping then 14-year-old Elizabeth in 2002, sexually assaulting her and keeping her as his second wife.
Defense mental health expert Stephen Golding has said Mitchell vowed to do everything possible to disrupt the trial and has said he will not allow Elizabeth — who he contends is his wife — to be questioned on the witness stand.
Golding didn't diagnose Mitchell as schizophrenic but also had not ruled it out.
Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee, 59, are charged with kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated burglary and attempted aggravated kidnapping. He is also charged in the attempted abduction of Elizabeth's cousin.
Barzee, who has filed for divorce, has been ruled incompetent to stand trial and is being treated at a state facility.