Teen Accused of Slaying Grandparents Pleads Not Guilty, Trial Set for August
By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter
MANCHESTER, Iowa – A Manchester teen accused of fatally shooting his grandparents two weeks ago pleaded not guilty Wednesday to two counts of first-degree murder and a trial is set for Aug. 1, in Delaware County District Court.
Isaiah Sweet, 17, made a written not guilty plea and didn't appear in court Wednesday. He remains in the Buchanan County Jail under a $1 million bond.
Sweet is accused of shooting his grandparents and legal guardians, Richard, 55, and Janet, 62, Sweet over the Mother's Day weekend. Police haven't released their time of death but according to their obituaries they died May 12.
The bodies of Richard and Janet Sweet were found by relatives lying on a living room sofa, each with gunshot wounds to the head, according to a search warrant. Family members found the bodies in the Manchester home May 13, as they were coming over to celebrate Mother's Day.
According to a search warrant, Isaiah Sweet admitted to shooting his grandparents and contemplated beating his grandfather with a baseball bat before shooting the couple. The weapon wasn't found at the scene but investigators recovered a spent rifle casing from the home.
Manchester Police Chief Bruce Trapp said last week he couldn't comment on the weapon because the investigation is ongoing.
Last week, The Gazette obtained police service call reports which revealed officers responded to the Sweet's home 18 times within a year over violent incidents with Isaiah Sweet, but they never pursued charges against him.
The service calls included Richard and Janet Sweet asking for help with their grandson because he was threatening them, kicking his grandfather, using drugs, arguing with them and not coming home at night. In many of the calls, the officers asked the Sweets if they wanted to pursue charges against their grandson but they refused.