MANCHESTER – Convicted double murderer Isaiah Sweet will spend the rest of his life in prison, Judge Michael Shubatt ruled Tuesday.
Sweet, 19, pleaded guilty last fall to two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of his grandparents and legal guardians Richard and Janet Sweet, who were found dead in their Manchester home on Mother’s Day 2012.
At a Feb. 26 hearing, prosecutors argued that Sweet deserves life in prison, while his attorneys said he should have a chance for eventual release because he was 17 at the time of the killings.
Under rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Iowa Supreme Court, judges are required to consider whether juveniles convicted of murder merit the possibility of parole using criteria including age, maturity, family and home life, circumstances of the crime and the possibility of rehabilitation.
After weighing those considerations, Shubatt concluded that Sweet “is extremely dangerous and a threat to society,” and, in the interest of justice and community safety, sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“Justice was done today,” said Angie Camlin, the daughter of Janet Sweet, who said in a victim impact statement at the Feb. 26 hearing that Sweet had shown no remorse and asked Shubatt to impose the life sentence without parole.
In a statement after the hearing, Camlin said Sweet was a “dangerous person” and that she would not want her grandchildren 30 years from now “on the same street with someone who could not be helped.”Prosecutor Denise Timmons said the sentence was justified. Sweet planned the murders and “took two lives without a thought about it,” she said.