Fred Shields, 2nd man convicted in Neal Sweeney murder-for-hire plot, sentenced to life in prison

TULSA - The second man convicted in a high-profile murder-for-hire plot was sentenced to life in prison Monday.

Last month, a jury found Fred Shields guilty of killing Tulsa businessman Neal Sweeney.

Shields' brother, Allen, was the admitted mastermind of the crime. He committed suicide last year during a police standoff.

During a preliminary hearing, Allen Shields said gas station owner Mohammed Aziz hired him to kill Sweeney because Sweeney cut off fuel to Aziz's gas station.

Terrico Bethel was the first man convicted in the case. Prosecutors argued Bethel was the trigger man. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Aziz accepted a plea deal in exchange for his testimony against his co-conspirators.

Alonzo Johnson, the Shields' cousin, is also charged in the plot. He has not yet made it to trial.

Shields was sentenced to life behind bars without the possibility of parole as well as a $15,000 fine for the first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder convictions. The court ordered the sentences run consecutively.

Sweeney's wife, Jan, made a brief victim impact statement. She said her family was grateful for their decision.

"The court followed the jury's strong verdict," said Tim Harris, Tulsa County district attorney. "The court saw that they should run consecutively."

With Bethel's and Shields' cases resolved, Johnson will be the third and final suspect in the case to stand trial.

"We are already in preparation for Mr. Johnson," said Harris. "Certainly, he's got the presumption of innocence, like all defendants do, but we are in the preparation stage and Dec. 3 we will be ready."

Harris says Aziz will testify in Johnson's trial, then he'll be sentenced to 25 to 35 years in prison.

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