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Defense rests case in Elizabeth Smart kidnapping

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Alleged Smart kidnapper's medical scare
  • NEW: Defense rests; prosecution rebuttal could take five days
  • Brian Mitchell is charged with kidnapping the Utah teenager in 2002
  • Smart, who was 14 at the time, was abducted from her bedroom

For more on this story, see CNN affiliate KTSU

(CNN) -- Lawyers for a man accused of kidnapping Utah teenager Elizabeth Smart rested their case Thursday afternoon, a day after the young woman stormed out of court during testimony.

Federal prosecutors are expected to follow the defense with several days of rebuttal testimony against Brian Mitchell, who is charged with snatching Smart from the bedroom of her family's Salt Lake City home in 2002.

Mitchell, 57, is charged with kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines. Nine months after her abduction, Smart was found in the company of Mitchell -- a drifter and self-described "prophet" who called himself Immanuel -- and his wife, Wanda Barzee.

Defense attorneys are mounting an insanity defense for Mitchell, hoping to prove that he did not understand his actions were wrong when he abducted Smart.

Smart abruptly left the courtroom during Wednesday's testimony by defense witness Paul Whitehead, a forensic psychiatrist who treated Mitchell, CNN affiliate KSTU reported. Whitehead testified about Mitchell's desire to bear children with Smart, who was 14 at the time of her abduction, the affiliate said.

"Mr. Mitchell was talking with Ms. Smart about having babies to the point where Ms. Smart actually picked out a name in case that happened," Whitehead testified.

That statement prompted Smart's departure, followed by that of her mother.

Mitchell's trial was halted Tuesday after he suffered apparent seizures in court. Before the seizures, the suspect was singing Christmas carols when he was led into the courtroom. He then began to wail and dropped to the floor, the affiliate said.

Defense attorney Robert Steele said Smart had testified that the suspect suffered a seizure during her time in captivity.

"We watched a seizure," he said, according to KSTU. When a reporter asked whether "it really happened," Steele replied, "Yes, yes."

Prosecutors have said they have up to five days of rebuttal witnesses, but both sides assured the judge they would finish closing arguments by December 10.