Deputies are searching for a man who simply walked out of the Lee County Courthouse during a trial that ended with his conviction for taking two people hostage in 2021.
30-year-old Therbert Sweet is on the run after leaving the courtroom during his trial. It isn’t clear how this happened: Sweet left during a break in the trial, but it isn’t yet known if he had already been found guilty or if he for some reason wasn’t handcuffed.
Sweet has a violent criminal history dating back to 2007 when he was arrested for breaking into a home. Several drug arrests and other charges followed throughout the years. In February 2021, Sweet and four other people abducted two people and held them hostage at a home in Bonita Springs. The two victims were going to meet up with some people at a home near San Carlos Park when they were taken.
One was bound, blindfolded and put in the backseat of a pick-up truck, where he was then robbed. The other victim was attacked and put in another truck. Sweet and others zip-tied the victims’ hands behind their backs and left them lying on the floor of a garage for hours.
Sweet was charged with two counts of kidnapping and possession of a firearm, and he was found guilty after a two-day trial at the Lee County Courthouse.
A bench warrant has been issued for Sweet’s arrest. WINK News will continue looking for answers as to how he was able to walk out and not return.