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Elizabeth Smart Trial Update: Psychiatric Evaluators Testify in Brian Mitchell's Defense

Elizabeth Smart Trial Update: Defense Attorneys Call on Psychiatric Evaluators
Elizabeth Smart, Nov. 8, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images) Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY (CBS/AP) As the federal trial of Brian David Mitchell, the man charged with abducting Elizabeth Smart in 2002, enters its fourth week, defense attorneys are expected to call on psychiatric evaluators to testify about his mental competency.

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Among their list of witnesses defense attorneys plan to call Dr. Richart DeMeir, a forensic psychologist who diagnosed Mitchell as a paranoid schizophrenic in 2009 and claimed he was not competent to stand trial.

DeMier reportedly based his diagnosis on Mitchell's belief that "he is divinely ordained to fulfill a special role at the end of the world, putting himself on par with Jesus or God."

However, DeMier's findings do not correlate with those of Dr. Michael Welner, a New York City forensic psychologist who prosecutors hired to conduct a separate evaluation. According to Welner, Mitchell has an anti-social personality disorder, alcohol abuse, psychopathy and said he is "malingering," which means faking or exaggerating an illness to avoid prosecution.

In March, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball ruled Mitchell competent for trial.

Utah psychologist Dr. Stephen Golding is also expected to take the witness stand. During a 2009 competency hearing, Golding testified that religious-based delusions made Mitchell believe that he was being pressured or commanded to do certain things.

"Mr. Mitchell's ego, his self, was constantly warring with what he thought he needed to do," Godling explained last year. "Over time it developed into a pretty frank delusional disorder."

Mitchell is accused of kidnapping Smart at knife-point from her Utah home on June 5, 2002. Smart, who was 14-years-old at the time, previously testified during the trial that she was forced to enter a polygamous marriage with Mitchell, suffered near daily rapes, was forced to use alcohol and drugs and was taken to California against her will for approximately four months.

Smart, now 23, also testified that she never believed Mitchell's religious beliefs were genuine and that he used religion to manipulate others, including Wanda Eileen Barazee, Mitchell's now-estranged wife who pleaded guilty to federal charges in the case last year.

Nine months after her abduction Smart was found while walking a suburban Salt Lake City street with Mitchell, and disguised in a wig and sunglasses.

Mitchell is charged with kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for the purposes of illegal sexual activity. If convicted, the 57-year-old former street preacher could be sentenced to life in prison.