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A federal judge on Monday may set a date for a competency hearing for the man charged with the 2002 abduction of Elizabeth Smart.

Brian David Mitchell, however, was not expected to attend the hearing in U.S. District Court.

Federal prosecutors sought the hearing in June and implied that two doctors who evaluated Mitchell reached different conclusions about his ability to participate in his defense.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Lambert has said a hearing could take 10 days. Court documents show prosecutors plan to call about 39 witnesses, including family, friends, former church leaders and staff at the Utah State Hospital, where Mitchell has been incarcerated for most of the last six years.

In court papers filed last week, Mitchell's defense attorney, Robert Steele, asked a judge to shorten the list in part because most of the proposed witnesses are not qualified to provide an assessment of competency. In addition, the information could potentially date back to Mitchell's childhood and have little relevance to his current mental state, Steele wrote.

Similarly, testimony from state hospital staff is irrelevant because Mitchell has been in the Salt Lake County jail since federal prosecutors took him into custody 10 months ago, court papers say.


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