Lawyers question competency of man accused in Elizabeth Smart case



SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Attorneys for a man accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart have asked a judge for additional competency evaluations, potentially delaying a trial already held up for months over the issue.
Heidi Buchi, a lawyer for Brian David Mitchell, argued in a motion filed Wednesday that she has seen a marked decline in Mitchell's capacity to assist in his defense.
Mitchell's "delusions have taken an increasingly dominant role in his decision-making process and conversation," Buchi said.
Deputy District Attorney Kent Morgan said Friday that Mitchell should be examined briefly to determine if his status has changed but added, "We don't need to give him all the tests again."
Prosecutors first requested a competency exam for Mitchell in March 2003. At the time, it was expected to delay a trial by about two months. But it wasn't until Aug. 31 that he was finally certified to stand trial.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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