Guilty verdicts returned in Neal Sweeney murder case
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
12/28/12 at 3:45 AM
Jurors have found Alonzo "Jack" Johnson guilty on murder and conspiracy counts linked to the killing of Tulsa businessman Neal Sweeney.
The jury sentenced Johnson to life in prison with the possibility of parole on the murder conviction, plus a $10,000 fine, and entered a second phase of the trial to hear information about Johnson's criminal record. With that information in mind, the jury also sentenced him to life with parole on the conspiracy count Wednesday evening.
Sweeney, president of Retail Fuels Marketing, 3158 S. 108th East Ave., was shot once in the head at his business on the morning of Sept. 4, 2008. He 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 installment payments in connection with the murder-for-hire plot.
Retail Fuels Marketing had stopped regular delivery of fuel to Aziz's stores because he was not making payments, and the lack of gas created major financial problems for Aziz, according to testimony.
Closing arguments in Johnson's trial were made Wednesday.
"Neal Sweeney was an innocent victim of a gang of killers,” Tulsa County First Assistant District Attorney Doug Drummond said then.
At the trial, the jury “got a real-life look at how co-conpirators work,” Drummond said.
As for the other four defendants, Aziz was the instigator, Allen Shields was the money man, Fred Shields Jr. was the facilitator and Terrico Bethel was the hit man, Drummond said.
At an August trial, another jury convicted Bethel of murder and conspiracy.
Fred Shields also has been convicted of murder and conspiracy counts.
His brother, Allen Shields, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count in the case in 2010 and testified for the prosecution. He killed himself in 2011.
Aziz has pleaded guilty to soliciting murder, and his plea agreement calls for a 25- to 35-year prison term in exchange for truthful testimony. He has not been sentenced, and murder and conspiracy counts against him were dismissed.
Alonzo "Jack" Johnson