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Elizabeth Smart Update: Appeals Court Halts Kidnap Trial

Brian David Mitchell arrives at the Salt Lake City federal courthouse for a hearing Thursday, Oct. 1 2009, in Salt Lake City. Elizabeth Smart is testifying in Mitchell's competency hearing for the first time since her kidnapping in 2002. (AP Photo/Colin Braley)
AP Photo/Colin Braley
Elizabeth Smart Update: Appeals Court Halts Kidnap Trial
Brian David Mitchell (AP/Douglas C. Pizac, file)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) A federal appeals court has interrupted the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping trial to rule on a defense motion demanding that it be moved out of Utah.

PICTURES: Elizabeth Smart

A clerk at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver says a three-judge panel agreed to take up the question of whether Brian David Mitchell can get a fair trial because of publicity his lawyers say has tainted the jury pool.

Clerk Betsy Shumaker tells The Associated Press the trial is on hold pending a ruling by a three-judge appeals court panel.

U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball interrupted opening statements in the Salt Lake City trial Thursday and sent jurors home. Kimball told jurors he wasn't happy about the delay.

Elizabeth Smart's mother and sister were at the courthouse and prepared to testify Thursday.

COVERAGE OF ELIZABETH SMART ON CRIMESIDER