, Muskogee, OK

October 1, 2012

Life sentence handed down in Tulsa contract killing

Associated Press

— TULSA (AP) — A Tulsa County judge has sentenced a man to life in prison without parole in the death of businessman Neal Sweeney.

Fred Shields was sentenced Monday for Sweeney's death. Last month, a jury convicted Shields of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in Sweeney's 2008 shooting death.

Tulsa television station KOTV reported that Shields received life sentences on both counts.

Prosecutors alleged that Sweeney was killed in a murder-for-hire plot, and a convenience store owner, Mohammed Aziz, pleaded guilty earlier this year to soliciting the murder.

Prosecutors claimed that Shields helped connect Aziz with the alleged gunman, Terrico Bethel. A jury convicted Bethel in August of first-degree murder, and he was sentenced to life in prison.