Friends React To Arrest In Sweeney Case

Thursday, June 4th 2009, 6:09 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Word about an arrest in the Neal Sweeney murder case yields mixed emotions from friends.  Former University of Tulsa teammates say they suspected it was a contract killing, but the motives for it are still baffling.

06/04/2009  Related Story: Arrest Made In Murder Of Tulsa Businessman

Sweeney's friends have been waiting patiently for some good news, and on Thursday they got it.  Meanwhile, members of the Tulsa's oil industry say professional hits in their business are unprecedented.

"I was a little shocked again. I've been fighting the flu or something for a week, and I've never felt this good in a month or so," said former teammate Glen Dobbs.

Former TU quarterback Glen Dobbs says the past nine months have been tough for him, as well as the others who played alongside Neal Sweeney in the 60's.  They lost a friend and a teammate, and no one is sure exactly why.

"It really is for those of us who knew Neal. That's just not Neal.  I can't imagine him making anyone mad enough to do that," said Glen Dobbs.

Dobbs says the arrest of 23-year-old Terrico Bethel is an encouraging first step towards figuring out exactly why Sweeney was killed.

Dewey Bartlett has seen a lot during several decades in the oil industry, but says until September, a contract killing was unthinkable.

"Hearing that someone is alleged to have shot him because of a business deal is nuts. It just doesn't make sense," said Dewey Bartlett, Jr. of Keener Oil and Gas.

Bartlett says the oil business can be tough, but violence over a business deal never enters anyone's mind.

"To have someone come in and hire somebody to shoot somebody, no, just not necessary," said Dewey Bartlett, Jr.

Glen Dobbs hopes the arrest leads to the capture of whoever ordered the hit.  But, he says whatever happens; nothing will bring back his friend and teammate.

"They probably modeled the Energizer Bunny after Neal.  He was always going, always a smile, always a big hug, and that's what I missed," said Glen Dobbs.          

Dobbs says Sweeney was still a big part of the TU Football family, and not being able to see him at any more games will be difficult.