- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma court has rejected the appeal of a 27-year-old man who was sentenced to life in prison in a murder-for-hire plot.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the first-degree murder conviction of Terrico Bethel in a ruling that was made public Wednesday.

Bethel was sentenced to life in prison in Tulsa County for the death of 63-year-old Neal Sweeney. Sweeney was shot in the head on Sept. 4, 2008, at his company, Retail Fuels Marketing.

Prosecutors alleged that Bethel was hired by convenience store owner Mohammed Aziz to kill Sweeney because of a business dispute. Aziz, one of Sweeney’s customers, pleaded guilty in 2012 to soliciting Sweeney’s murder.

Bethel’s defense attorney, Jamie Pybas of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

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