Hearing Held In Death Of Roger Sweet's First Wife

Headline Goes Here

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. - On Wednesday, a hearing was held to determine if a man should stand trail in the death of his first wife in 1990.

Roger Sweet was charged in Marlene Sweet's death in February. Police said Sweet is also considered the prime suspect in the disappearance of his second wife, Lizzie Mae Collier-Sweet, who police said has been missing since January.

Brownstown Township police Lt. Robert Grant said that when Roger Sweet was first asked about his wife's whereabouts, he said that if he had to guess, he'd say she was probably dead in the woods.

In court, the son of Marlene and Roger Sweet testified about seeing his father abuse his mother.

Michael Sweet said that his father abused his mother for years, and twice lifted his mother up and slammed her against a wall. Michael Sweet said he also aimed a rifle at her.

"(Roger Sweet) was really angry and said to get the hell out. He said if she didn't shut up he'd kill her," Michael Sweet testified.

Marlene Sweet died in 1990 from head injuries, officials said. Roger Sweet said that his wife had been drinking and she fell down. Medical examiners originally ruled her death as accidental, but after new allegations the case was reclassified as a homicide by Oakland County Medical Examiner L.J. Dragovic.

Dragovic said he based his decision on photographs that showed bruising he felt was not consistent with a fall.

Marlene Sweet's brother Richard Fullmerhouser also testified. He said he moved in with her twice in order to protect her, and said he constantly saw bruising but never called police.

Roger Sweet's second wife, Lizzie Mae Collier-Sweet, disappeared after a fire destroyed the couple's home in Brownstown Township in January.

Police said they have searched everywhere including the Rouge River behind the plant where the couple worked, but have still not found the missing woman.

Collier-Sweet's sister, Louise, was in court as well and said she wants Roger Sweet to tell her what happened to her sister.

"I'm in a standstill state to this day," Louise Collier said.

Collier added that similar things said in court about Roger Sweet's first wife happened to her sister. She said that Roger Sweet threw her sister down a flight of stairs in December.

When asked what it was it like to see Roger Sweet in court, she replied, "I don't hate, because I tell my children not to hate. Hate's a strong word. The respect is gone. That's what it was. We used to put Roger up on a pedestal."

According to testimony on Wednesday, Marlene Sweet knew the name Lizzie Mae Collier because she believed her husband was having an affair with her.

Testimony in Roger Sweet's preliminary exam will continue in late June.

Previous Stories:

Copyright 2003 by ClickOnDetroit.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.