DUBUQUE (AP) — Defense attorneys for a Isaiah Sweet, who is accused of killing his custodial grandparents, sought a mistrial Friday after an investigator testified that he found child pornography on a computer in the family's home.
Judge Michael Shubatt immediately told jurors to disregard the statement by Ward Crowley, an agent with the Division of Criminal Investigation, who specializes in computer forensics.
Defense attorney Jill Eimermann argued the comment might influence jurors and asked for a mistrial.
"We can't un-ring the bell," Eimermann said.
The statement came up during the second day of testimony in the 18-year-old's murder trial. Authorities accuse Sweet of killing Richard Sweet, 55, and Janet Sweet, 62. The couple died in May 2012.
Prosecutor Denise Timmins asked Judge Shubatt to overrule the mistrial motion because Ward's statement represents only a small part of the testimony and trial.
Crowley also testified he examined a computer in the Sweet home and found Internet searches about different methods for killing people. A witness Thursday said Sweet sought his advice about methods for killing a person only days before the couple's bodies were found.
During his testimony, Crowley also said he found six images he believed were child pornography.
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 added she told Crowley not to mention the pornography.
Shubatt said he would rule on the request Monday.
Sgt. James Hauschild, a police officer in Manchester, earlier Friday testified that Isaiah Sweet confessed to killing his grandparents, and seemed relieved after making the admission.
Hauschild said after Sweet acknowledged the killings, a weight seemed like it lifted from the young man's shoulders.
Officers responded a number of times to the Sweets' home, according to Hauschild's testimony. Usually the grandparents called because Isaiah was out of control, he added.
Richard and Janet Sweet had asked about a mental health commitment for their grandson, too, according to Hauschild.
During defense questioning, Hauschild noted during most of the police officers' visits, Richard Sweet was apparently intoxicated.