SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Brian David Mitchell was removed from the courtroom on Monday as jury selection began in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping trial.
Mitchell entered the court singing the hymn 'O God the Eternal Father' and was seen by the jury pool for 15 minutes before Judge Dale Kimball had him removed from the courtroom.
Besides singing hymns, Mitchell's eyes were closed and his hands were clasped in prayer as he entered the room.
Mitchell was taken to an adjoining room where he was given access to the proceedings via a closed-circuit video feed.
Mitchell is accused of kidnapping an raping Elizabeth Smart in 2002.
Eight potential jurors were dismissed as nine others were retained during Monday's proceedings. The five potential jurors were mine and four women were listed as potential jurors.
Mitchell's attorney is using an insanity defense and many of the questions asked to the potential jurors centered in this area:
Questions such as "Is a not guilty by reason of insanity an appropriate verdict?" or "Is insanity defense an excuse?". Attorneys also asked several questions regarding religion, sex abuse and rape.
Mitchell's step-daughter talked to reporters following Monday's proceedings and doubted there would be an impartial jury.
"Not in Utah," said Rebecca Woodridge. "They've already made up their minds. They can't seperate fact from what they believe. They've already formed their opinion of him."
She has visited Mitchell at jail and claims he is mentally unstable.
"He sings and preaches," she said. "He needs help. I believe he's mentally ill."
Mitchell had requested to wear the same white robes he wore when he was arrested in March of 2003, but the judge ruled against it due to security concerns, and the defendant was forced to wear a prison uniform.
Jury selection is expected to last for at least another day, and perhaps until the end of the week.