Prosecutors in Neal Sweeney murder rest their case
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
12/12/12 at 8:17 AM
Tulsa County jurors will deliberate on Wednesday the fate of Alonzo "Jack" Johnson on murder and conspiracy counts linked to the killing of Tulsa businessman Neal Sweeney.
Prosecutors Tim Harris and Doug Drummond rested their case Tuesday in District Judge Tom Gillert's courtroom.
Johnson, 41, of Broken Arrow, did not take the witness stand. He is on trial alone on counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and he has denied the allegations.
Defense attorney Mark Lyons presented one witness, Tulsa Police Detective Vic Regalado, whom he questioned regarding a now-dead key prosecution witness, Allen Shields.
As in two previous trials in the case, the prosecution read the transcript of Shields' October 2010 testimony, given at a preliminary hearing for four other defendants in the case.
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.
At an August trial, another jury convicted Terrico Bethel, the triggerman, of murder and conspiracy.
The transcript of the 2010 hearing, read to jurors Tuesday, showed that Shields testified that Johnson came to his home on the morning of Sept. 4, 2008, accompanied by Bethel.
Johnson inquired whether Aziz had the money to get the murder done, Shields testified then.
He said he later received a phone call from Johnson, who wanted him to get the money from Aziz, according to the transcript.
At the 2010 hearing, Shields said his brother, Fred Shields, had said the hit would cost $10,000 and that Aziz had said "OK."
Allen Shields said Aziz gave him a brown paper sack that Aziz said contained $5,000. Allen Shields said he delivered it to Johnson and that he later collected other payments from Aziz.
Allen Shields pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count and testified for the prosecution after being offered a plea deal calling for a 10-year probation and no prison time.
In April 2011, Allen Shields died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a seven-hour standoff with police officers.
An 11-year-old girl who had been held hostage was released unharmed before Shields, 34, shot himself, police reported in 2011.
Original Print Headline: Prosecutors in Sweeney murder rest their case
Bill Braun 918-581-8455
Alonzo "Jack" Johnson: The 41-year-old did not take the witness stand. He is on trial alone on counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. He has denied the allegations
Neal Sweeney: He was shot once in the head at his business on Sept. 4, 2008
Terrico Bethel: He was convicted of murder and conspiracy at an August trial