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Defense Calls For Mistrial In Murder Trial
DUBUQUE (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Day 3 of the Isaiah Sweet trial ended with a potential game changer. The 18-year-old is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of his grandparents back in May of 2012.
An investigator with the Division of Criminal Investigation took the stand today and mentioned he found what looked to be child porn on the Sweet family computer. Minutes later, the judge asked that the statement be removed from the record, and asked the jury to ignore it.
After testimony wrapped up for the day, the defense called for a mistrial, because both sides agreed beforehand that the discovery of the porn wasnt relevant to the case and therefore shouldn't be mentioned. The judge says he will take that under advisement, and announce his decision when court restarts on Monday morning.
Prior to that, the focus all day was on the crime scene and the difficult relationship between Isaiah and his grandparents.
A seemingly calm Isaiah Sweet entered the courtroom Friday morning.
Sgt. Jim Hauschild with Manchester PD says his demeanor was similar just hours after he was arrested.
"I'd say he was more relaxed than when he first arrived, almost like a ton of weight had been lifted off his shoulders," Hauschild said.
Much of the Sergeants testimony focused on the relationship between Isaiah and his grandparents. He describes it as a turbulent one.
"Isaiah would want to do something, Richard and Janet wouldn't let him do it, he would get upset, there would be name calling, on a few occasions there were allegations of an assault."
He said the Sweets even had discussions of having him committed to a mental facility because of his behavior.
"On one occasion Isaiah used an aerosol can, turned it into a torch with a lighter and burned some papers in the house," Hauschild said.
The defense suggests Richard Sweet had problems as well.
"Sgt, every time you were at the Sweets' house Richard Sweet was intoxicated, correct?" Defense attorney Jason Dunn asked Hauschild.
"Most of the time, yes, but not every time," Hauschild said.
Weapons experts also took the stand today, saying the 3 shell casings found in the house match the gun Isaiah used to allegedly commit the murders.
Crime scene photos were also displayed, with images of bullet holes, blood and skull fragments scattered around the house. By the time the graphic autopsy photos arrived, Sweet was only able to occasionally look up.
Court will begin Monday morning at 9. The case was on track to go to the jury by Tuesday, but that mistrial decision Monday morning could change that schedule.
If convicted, Isaiah Sweet would face a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison without parole.