Guilty verdict brings a smile to Elizabeth Smart?s face | The Salt Lake Tribune
A tiny smile appeared on Elizabeth Smartís face Friday morning as Brian David Mitchell was pronounced guilty of kidnapping her when she was 14.
The smile grew as a U.S. District Court clerk announced jurors had also convicted Mitchell of transporting her across state lines for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.
Moments later, as Mitchell was led singing from the courtroom for one final time during the five-week trial, the 23-year-old Smart was nearly beaming as she stood with her parents, Ed and Lois Smart.
Elizabeth Smart later triumphantly told a small army of reporters assembled outside the federal courthouse: ďI am so thrilled with the verdict. But not only that, I am so thrilled to stand before the people of America today and give hope to other victims who have not spoken out about whatís happened to them.Ē
Thanking the public for their prayers and support, Smart added she hoped her experience shows that ďit is possible to move on after something terrible has happened, and that we can speak out and we will be heard.Ē
Mitchellís convictions end an eight-year saga that has left its mark on Utahns. Thousands of citizens mobilized to search for the missing Salt Lake City girl ó a process that inspired later large-scale searches for other missing children. The Smarts never gave up hope, although many presumed their daughter was dead and were astonished when she was found nine months later in the company of Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Eileen Barzee.
Smartís parents said Friday they were grateful their daughter survived a knife-point abduction, near-daily rapes and many other humiliations at the hands of the 57-year-old defendant. They also said they were proud she testified so courageously about her nine-month ordeal, which included a trip to California and back.
ďDoesnít she glow?Ē Lois Smart asked the crowd, following Fridayís verdict.