Mitchell intimidating, not delusional, witness says

The Salt Lake Tribune/November 15, 2010

Jurors in the Brian David Mitchell trial on Monday were watching a two-hour video of an FBI agent and a police officer interrogating Mitchell following his arrest for the abduction of Elizabeth Smart.

Prosecutors say Mitchell's reactions - and his control of the situation - show he was not insane in 2002 when he abducted the then-14-year-old Smart from her Salt Lake City home and raped her over the nine months she spent as his captive.

Smart joined the courtroom gallery Monday to observe testimony. Her father, Ed Smart, has said she plans to view the rest of the trial as a spectator now that her testimony has concluded.

The first to testify Monday morning was Jill Fleming Ogilvie, a retired California police officer who encountered Mitchell, Smart and Mitchell's wife, Wanda Barzee, there in January 2003.

Ogilvie spotted the trio and was immediately concerned. Both Smart and Barzee were wearing white robes and veils covering their faces, and Mitchell appeared to be leading them.

"Something was wrong with the picture, clearly," Ogilvie told the court. "The young girl was out of place. She was school age and apparently not attending school. ... My professional gut reaction was that there was something wrong. I wanted to engage them and have a conversation."

But Mitchell headed her off, she said.

"He gave me a look that was so intimidating, so encompassed, he stopped me before I could say hello ...," Ogilvie testified.

Ogilvie said she contacted a police officer and the FBI, but her concerns weren't taken seriously.

"I reached out to law enforcement, the FBI, and nobody was doing anything," she testified. "I decided to take it into my hands again."

She encountered the three again and asked Smart if she was OK. She was again cut short by Mitchell, who she said made her fearful. She did not have the impression Mitchell was mentally ill.

"It has been my experience when a person has a mental difficulty, they are not aware of the time and place," Ogilvie told the court. "They are a danger to themselves and others - usually not in control of themselves, much less in control of anybody else."

"This individual has a personality that is much larger than I've ever encountered. He controlled the situation. He was incredibly intimidating."

Monday's testimony ended at 2 p.m. The trial resumes Tuesday morning.

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