Isaiah Sweet double Manchester murder trial begins - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Isaiah Sweet double Manchester murder trial begins

Posted: Updated:

The trial of the Manchester teen accused of killing his grandparents last year is getting underway this week in Dubuque.

Isaiah Sweet, 18, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Richard and Janet Sweet in May of 2012.

All day Wednesday, attorneys worked to select the jurors. By the end of the day, approximately 100 potential jurors remained in the courtroom and the attorneys still had questions to ask, so the process will pick up Thursday morning at 9 a.m.

The judge dismissed several dozen people, however, saying they had fulfilled their jury duty and the attorneys were close enough to a selection that those people didn't have to return.

News of the deaths broke on Mother's Day of 2012. Family members of Manchester couple Rick Sweet, 55, and his wife Janet, 62, arrived at the pair's house for a meal.

That's when a granddaughter walked in to find a gruesome and bloody scene: her grandparents shot dead on the couch.

Officials then launched a manhunt for the couple's then-17-year-old grandson Isaiah Sweet. They caught him in Cedar Rapids the next night.

Sweet made his initial appearance on the Tuesday following Mother's Day.

Prosecutors are charging him with two counts of first-degree murder.

A judge approved a motion for a change of venue, as Sweet's attorney cited the high amount of media attention the case has received in Delaware County and how that could make an impartial jury difficult to find there. The trial is taking place in Dubuque.

Sweet's friend, Brandon Ahlers, was also charged in connection with the case. He originally faced two counts of aiding and abetting in first degree murder but agreed in a plea deal to lesser charges in exchange for testifying against Sweet in Sweet's trial.

Ahlers, now 21, is serving 18 years for his involvement.

Attorneys say they expect Sweet's trial to stretch into the middle of next week.

Becca Habegger is following the trial.  Read her updates by following @BeccaKWWL on Twitter.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KWWL. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Sandy Youngblut at 319-291-1259. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at