SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- The father of accused Elizabeth Smart kidnapper Brian Mitchell took the stand in Salt Lake City Wednesday and described his son's troubled upbringing.
The defendant was ushered out of court after singing Christmas carols, as he had done Tuesday, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
"There are a whole series of alienation incidents from the time he was probably in the womb," Shirl Mitchell, 87, said of his son. "There was psychological circumstances."
Mitchell described Brian's battles with his siblings.
"Brian is a very intelligent person, and he used that to the full extent," the elder Mitchell said. "And he used that to his advantage for harassment of the other children and my wife."
Brian Mitchell is accused of kidnapping Smart from her Salt Lake City home in 2002. He and his wife, Wanda Barzee, allegedly held the 14-year-old girl captive and sexually abused her for nine months before she was found with them on a street in 2003. Barzee, who has pleaded guilty, is expected to testify this week.
The defense is asking jurors to find Mitchell not guilty by reason of insanity. It also has the burden of proving he was insane at the time of the crime.