Sweet hearing continued, new set of court dates announced by judge

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Court dates have been pushed back for the Bartholomew County man facing felony charges related to the drowning death of his 2-year-old daughter.

A change of plea hearing for Jeremy Sweet, 39, was scheduled to take place Monday in Bartholomew Superior Court 1. But public defender Aaron Edwards asked Judge James Worton that all major hearings in Sweet’s case be delayed “until the next cycle.” There was no objection from deputy prosecutor Sara Kalsi.

“Waiting until the next cycle” means scheduling new court dates as if they are being scheduled for the first time, a court reporter said.

Sweet is accused of intentionally placing his daughter, Emma, in a situation that endangered her life and health and resulted in her death, according to court documents. He was arrested Thanksgiving Day weekend after the little girl’s body was recovered from the East Fork White River, downstream from where duck hunters found him in his submerged truck days earlier.

Photo provided This photo of 2-year-old Emma Sweet in her car seat was provided by Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department when they issued an alert that she was missing.

The tentative new court dates for Jeremy Sweet are:

  • Monday, July 25 at 9:30 a.m. change of plea hearing
  • Monday, Aug. 8 at 11 a.m. pre-trial conference
  • Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 8:30 a.m. trial

Sweet faces a Level 1 felony charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death and a Level 6 felony charge of possession of a hypodermic syringe.

But there is also a second case from last May, when he was charged with a Level 5 felony of possession of methamphetamine and a Level 4 felony of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, court records state.

A third open case that stems from last February charges Sweet with leaving the scene of an accident as a Class B misdemeanor.

During a Jan. 26 bail reduction hearing, the court notified the defendant that a habitual offender enhancement has been formally introduced that could add six to 20 years to his sentence upon conviction.

For the complete story, see Tuesday’s Republic.