Murder-for-hire case expected to go to jury today
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Friday, September 21, 2012
A jury is expected to deliberate Friday the case of a man accused in the murder-for hire death of a Tulsa businessman.
Closing arguments and jury instructions are scheduled this afternoon in the courtroom of Judge Tom Gillert.
Fred Shields, 38, is on trial in Tulsa County District Court on counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Neal Sweeney, president of Retail Fuels Marketing, 3158 S. 108th East Ave., was shot once in the head at his business on Sept. 4, 2008. Sweeney, 63, died the next day.
Mohammed Aziz, who operated two convenience stores in Tulsa and one in Collinsville, has indicated that he paid a total of $11,100 in connection with a murder-for-hire plot to kill Sweeney.
Retail Fuels Marketing stopped regular delivery of fuel to Aziz's stores because he was not making the required payments, and the resulting lack of gasoline had created major financial problems for him, evidence indicates.
Terrico Bethel, 26, was sentenced last month to a no-parole life prison term plus 10 years in prison after being convicted of murder and conspiracy.
In a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed murder and conspiracy counts against Aziz. He pleaded guilty in January to soliciting murder and has not yet been sentenced.
Another defendant in the case, Alonzo "Jack" Johnson, faces a Dec. 3 trial on murder and conspiracy counts.
Shields' brother, Allen Shields, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count in 2010 and testified for the prosecution after being offered a deal calling for a 10-year probation and no prison time. He fatally shot himself in 2011.
Read more about this story in Saturday's Tulsa World.