DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Lawyers for a Manchester teenager accused of killing his custodial grandparents sought a mistrial Friday after a witness testified that child pornography was found on a computer in the family home.
Judge Michael Shubatt immediately told jurors to disregard the statement by a state investigator who specializes in computer forensics, but defense attorney Jill Eimermann said, “We can't unring the bell.”
Eimermann said the statement could lead jurors to think the images were downloaded by Isaiah Sweet, an 18-year-old who is on trial for first-degree murder in the deaths of his custodial grandparents. She called for a mistrial.
Prosecutor Denise Timmins asked the judge to overrule the mistrial motion because the statement was only a small part of the trial.
Shubatt said he'll rule on the request Monday.
The issue came up during the second day of testimony in the trial. Sweet is charged with killing Richard Sweet, 55, and Janet Sweet, 62. Their bodies were found May 13, 2012, in their Manchester home.
Isaiah Sweet was arrested the next day.
Ward Crowley, an agent with the State Division of Criminal Investigation, testified that he examined a computer in the Sweet home and found Internet searches about different methods for killing people. Crowley also said he found six images he believed to be child pornography on the computer.
Defense and prosecution lawyers told the judge they had agreed the fact shouldn't come up in the trial because it wasn't relevant. Timmins said she'd told Crowley not to mention the pornography.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.