Man sentenced to 30 years for kidnapping 2 people in 2021

Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Therbert Sweet, 30, after his arrest in Manatee County. Credit: Manatee County Sheriff’s Office

The man who walked out of the Lee County Courthouse attempting to flee before he was found guilty of taking two people hostage in 2021 has been sentenced.

Therbert Sweet, 30, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison, followed by 10 years of probation for two counts of kidnapping and possession of a firearm.

Sweet was found guilty in February in a trial that he walked out of. At the time, Sweet was not in custody and could walk out of the courthouse during a break ahead of the ruling.

A week and a half later, Sweet was found in Manatee County and arrested.

In February 2021, Sweet and four others abducted two people and held them hostage at a home in Bonita Springs. When they were taken, the two victims were going to meet up with some people at a home near San Carlos Park.

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 a garage floor for hours.

Along with his sentence for the 2021 kidnapping, Sweet faces a failure to appear charge for his attempt to flee during the trial.

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