ELKADER, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa teenager accused of killing his grandparents at their home in Manchester was formally charged with two counts of first-degree murder during a court appearance Tuesday.
Isaiah Sweet, 17, appeared in Clayton County District Court in Elkader a day after he was captured in Cedar Rapids and hours after he was charged.
Sweet, who was handcuffed and wearing a jail-issued orange T-shirt and orange and white striped pants, made his initial appearance before District Judge Monica Ackley.
The judge ordered that Sweet's bond remain at $1 million and scheduled a preliminary hearing for May 25.
Sweet said "yes" when asked by the judge if he understood the terms if bond is posted.
Sweet was charged Monday with two counts of first-degree murder in Delaware County District Court. His initial court appearance was held in neighboring Clayton County because that was the closest available district judge to oversee the proceedings. Ackley said future court appearance would take place in Delaware County
Sweet is charged in the deaths of his grandparents, Richard Sweet, 55, and his wife, Janet Sweet, 62. Their bodies were found Sunday afternoon when relatives arrived for a Mother's Day gathering.
Steven Hodge of the state public defender's office in Dubuque was appointed as Sweet's attorney during Tuesday's hearing, which lasted a few minutes. A telephone message to Hodge from The Associated Press was not returned Tuesday afternoon.
Sweet was arrested Monday night in Cedar Rapids after a short chase with police. Investigators tracked Sweet to an area along some railroad tracks.
Police in Iowa City arrested Sweet early Sunday when he tried to get into a convenience store to use the bathroom and set off an alarm, Iowa City police Sgt. Denise Brotherton said.
Police released him about 8 a.m. Sunday when an adult approved by his parents picked him up. Brotherton said there was no indication another crime had occurred when Sweet was released.
Autopsies were completed at the state medical examiner's office, but the cause of death was not being released, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said.
According to a criminal complaint, Sweet called a friend Friday evening and told her that he "drugged his grandparents" and thought they were dead "because he couldn't find a pulse."