Saturday, November 5, 2022

The Murder of Margaret Sweet

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Margaret Sweet had a lot going on in her life during December of 2008. The 38-year-old woman was staying with her father and stepmother in Colorado Springs, Colorado while her stepmother recovered from surgery. Margaret was also in the midst of leaving an abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend. Despite all of this, Margaret was still looking forward to celebrating the holidays with her loved ones. Unfortunately, she never got the chance. On the night of Christmas Eve, Margaret was brutally murdered outside her father's home. 

Before her murder, Margaret and her father, James Egger, were taking turns visiting Margaret's stepmother at the hospital. On the evening of December 24th, James was at the hospital while Margaret remained at home. When James returned home on Christmas morning, he found his daughter in the front yard. She had been shot to death.

Throughout the investigation, detectives learned that neighbors heard sounds of a man and woman yelling on the evening of Margaret's murder. The yelling continued until a gunshot was heard. Despite this, 9-1-1 was not called and Margaret's body was not discovered until later. The investigation also revealed many other details about Margaret's death that lead to a few different theories. Still, the prominent question remains: Who killed Margaret Sweet?


Who was Margaret?

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Margaret 'Mae' Sweet was known as an adventurous and kind person. Some people knew her as Mae, while others knew her as Shelby Jamison. According to family members, Margaret loved outdoor activities such as white water rafting and hiking. She also was an animal lover, and she enjoyed rescuing stray animals. 

Margaret's loved ones also described her as a reliable and caring young woman. Many remain baffled by her murder. There are a few prominent theories about her killer(s), but so far, no arrests have been made.

The relationship.

As previously stated, Margaret was in the midst of leaving an abusive boyfriend before she was killed. Before moving back to Colorado Springs, Margaret lived in Nashville, Tennessee - where she met Jere Dale Batts. The two began a relationship that many described as tumultuous. Batts denies ever physically harming her, but Margaret's family members stated that they saw several bruises and injuries on her body while she was dating him. 

On May 13th, 2008 - just months before her murder - Margaret filed an order of protection against Batts. The order was filed after Batts followed her across the country to Colorado Springs. This inevitably raised suspicions about Batts when Margaret ended up murdered - but he denies involvement. In fact, Batts told police that he was on a date with another woman at the time of Margaret's death. 

While many are still suspicious of Batts, he has not been charged with anything related to Margaret's murder. As detectives continued to investigate the case, they learned other information that could also potentially lead to a suspect.

The gun.

After conducting a ballistics report, investigators learned that the gun used to kill Margaret had been using during another shooting that occurred during 2007. During said incident, the gun was used to injure a man during a drug deal. The victim survived and arrest was never made.

Due to this finding, investigators had to determine whether or not Margaret's death was also related to drugs. A toxicology report determined that Margaret was sober at the time of her death. Investigators were unable to find any further evidence that she was involved with drugs and/or drug dealers.

It still seems like an odd coincidence that the same gun was used in both the 2007 drug deal incident and Margaret's murder - but investigators have been unable to identify the owner of the gun.

Convenience store incident.

In 2018, a detective working Margaret's case told reporters that Margaret got into a verbal argument with a group of people just days before her murder. The detective stated that they still had not identified the people in this group, but they were hoping to speak with them. It's unclear if these people are considered suspects or if the incident itself is related to Margaret's murder - but they have yet to be ruled out.

Very little other information about this incident is available. It appears detectives are still hoping to identify the individuals involved.

The investigation today.

The murder of Margaret Sweet remains unsolved today. Her loved ones have not given up on finding justice. If you have any information that could help solve the case, please contact the Colorado Springs Police Department at 719-444-7000 or email with tips.

Colorado Cold Case Files
Fox 21 News

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