SALT LAKE CITY – The former street preacher charged with kidnapping and assaulting Elizabeth Smart suffered an apparent seizure in the courtroom Tuesday and was rushed to a hospital.
The judge adjourned the trial for the day after Brian David Mitchell was taken out of the courthouse on a stretcher and put in an ambulance. Paramedics earlier attended to Mitchell as he moaned and lay on the courtroom floor.
The incident happened just as the jury was about to get called into the courtroom for another day of testimony.
Mitchell's former stepdaughter, Rebecca Woodridge, said the defendant has been housed in a jail medical unit recently because of seizure issues.
His attorneys don't dispute that Smart was abducted from her home at knifepoint and held captive, but contend that Mitchell is mentally ill and can't be held responsible for the crimes.
Mitchell has been disrupting court proceedings on a daily basis with hymn singing, and he once yelled at a state court judge to "repent." Mitchell did not sing any hymns Tuesday.
Smart was 14 when she was abducted from her home at knifepoint on June 5, 2002. She was recovered nine months later disguised in wig and sunglasses and walking a suburban Salt Lake City street with Mitchell.
Now 23, Smart has testified that she was forced to enter a polygamous marriage with Mitchell, endured near daily rapes, was forced to use drugs and alcohol, and was taken to California against her will.