Final Neal Sweeney murder-for-hire trial enters 3rd day with testimony from detective, Aziz

TUSLA - Testimony continued Thursday in the trial of Alonzo Johnson, who is charged in the murder-for-hire plot of a prominent Tulsa businessman.

Johnson's is the last of three trials stemming from the murder of Neal Sweeney, who was shot and killed in his office in September 2008.

Prosecutors say Johnson provided the stolen van used in Sweeney's homicide, which was set in motion by gas station owner Mohammed Aziz, who wanted revenge after Sweeney cut off gas to Aziz's stations for non-payment. 

Aziz took the stand Thursday, testifying that he had never met Johnson until a day after Sweeney's death. According to Aziz, Johnson knocked on his store window and said, "Watch the news."

Prosecutors refuted these claims, pointing to multiple stories told by Aziz since the murder. They say Aziz hired Allen Shields, who got his brother Fred Shields involved, the triggerman, Terrico Bethel, and eventually Johnson, who is the Shields brothers' cousin.

A detective also provided testimony linking the getaway vehicle to Johnson, a connection investigators made in 2009. He said Johnson was being wiretapped when he spoke to a Muskogee man who worked next door to the shop from where the vehicle was stolen.

The detective said Johnson became aware of the wiretap and began holding back words referencing third parties and other suspects in the murder.

Previous testimony from Sweeney's co-workers described hearing the gunshots that killed Sweeney and referenced the frequency with which Sweeney dealt with Aziz.

Aziz and Allen Shields agreed to testify against the other suspects but Shields committed suicide in 2011 during a standoff with Tulsa police.

Bethel and Fred Shields were both found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Aziz has not yet been sentenced.

Court is in recess until 9 a.m. Friday.

Stay with and 2NEWS for continuing coverage of this case.

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