Three charged with murder in the February shooting death of Chandler Sweaney
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Three men have been charged with murder in the February 1 shooting death of Chandler Sweaney, 23 in Springfield, Mo.
Paul Morales, 29, Rickey Rose, 34, and Timothy Johnson, 32, are all charged with second degree murder.
According to court documents, Morales and Johnson showed up to Sweaney’s home in the 2800 block of West Chestnut Street to see Rose. Sweaney owned the home, and used social media to try and find roommates. Rose was renting a room from Sweaney, but the two did not know each other prior to becoming roommates.
Court documents state Morales and Johnson went to see Rose to buy drugs and a gun. Witnesses told police that Rose asked to speak to Morales and Johnson privately in Rose’s room. Later, two gunshots were heard and Morales ran out of the room holding a gun. Witnesses say Morales ran into the living room and began firing shots at Sweaney and another witness. When police arrived, they found Sweaney dead in the living room, and Rose had a gunshot to his leg. Witnesses did not know Morales or Johnson, and Rose was not cooperative with police about the shooting.
Later in the investigation, an ATF agent contacted Springfield detectives, saying that an inmate in the Randolph County jail in Illinois, who is a known high ranking member of the Gangster Disciples gang, had spoke in recorded phone calls about Johnson and Morales committing robbery and killing someone in Springfield.
Morales got out of prison on parole about 8 months before the murder, after serving almost 8 year for car theft and weapons crimes. Johnson got out only about one month before, after spending ten years behind bars for robbery. Investigators say Morales and Johnson are known members of the Gangster Disciples.
Morales was arrested during a traffic stop in April, and Johnson was arrested during a traffic stop in May.
“It’s extremely important that they are held accountable,” says Sweaney’s mother, Shelley Larrick. “More so, so that they’re not a danger to the community. It checks that box, is what I say, to allow you to move on to the next stage in this journey.”
All three suspects are held without bond.
With the suspects now charged, Larrick must move forward without her son, encouraging others to “Do Better, Be Better” in honor of Chandler.
“I knew what kind of person Chandler was, what kind of person he was going to be” says Larrick. “So to me, it’s only fair to this world, that something good come out of it.”
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