SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly nine years after she was abducted at knifepoint from her bed, Elizabeth Smart watched Wednesday without showing any emotion as a federal judge ordered a street preacher to spend the rest of his life in prison for kidnapping and raping her while holding her captive for months.
The sentencing of Brian David Mitchell closed a major legal chapter in the heartbreaking ordeal that stalled for years after Mitchell was declared mentally ill and unfit to stand trial in state court.
“I know that you know what you did is wrong,” Smart told Mitchell, who sang quietly in the courtroom. “You took away nine months of my life that can never be returned.”
Dressed in a gray striped skirt and yellow blouse, Smart took the witness stand for only about 30 seconds and confronted her abductor in court for the first time since the abduction ended.
She appeared poised and composed, speaking in even tones without showing emotion as she directed her comments at Mitchell.
“I have a wonderful life,” she said. “You will never affect me again.”
Mitchell did not respond when U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball handed down two life sentences at the hearing in Salt Lake City.
Afterward, Smart smiled and hugged family members and her lawyers.