Prosecutor: Drug deal led to shooting of Michael Sweeney
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Prosecutor: Drug deal led to shooting of Michael Sweeney

Jan 05, 2024

The killing last month of prominent businessman Michael Sweeney happened after a man accused of being a drug dealer chased him down on Interstate 75 believing a woman in Sweeney's vehicle hadn't paid enough for drugs, prosecutors said.

"It's tragic and unbelievable that a man lost his life over a mere $2," Hamilton County Prosecutor Melissa Powers said in a news release.

Police had previously characterized the fatal shooting as a road-rage incident.

That's because a woman in Sweeney's vehicle lied to police, claiming the shooting stemmed from road rage, Powers said.

The shooting happened on the evening of May 13.

Sweeney, 70, and two women drove to a BP station at 2112 Montana Ave. in Mount Airy. One of the women, Kimberly Cragwell, "exited Sweeney's vehicle and entered Mickey's vehicle" and bought drugs, according to the news release.

After Cragwell returned to Sweeney's vehicle, the man accused of being a drug dealer, Randall Mickey, got out of his car and confronted Cragwell through the driver's-side window of Sweeney's vehicle.

Sweeney then drove away, and Mickey followed him to I-75. Prosecutors say Mickey fired two shots into Sweeney's vehicle. Sweeney was struck in the head and crashed. The two women were not injured by the gunfire.

Police responded to the crash at about 8:30 p.m. in the northbound lanes, near Mitchell Avenue. Sweeney was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he later died.

Mickey, 37, has been charged with murder, felonious assault, being a felon in possession of a weapon and tampering with evidence. He was arrested June 2 by the Cincinnati police fugitive apprehension team.

Cragwell has been charged with obstructing justice.

Mickey was on parole at the time of the shooting, records show. He was released from prison in January. He had been sentenced in Clermont County to five years on drug trafficking and gun charges.

Powers said Mickey "showed immense recklessness and callousness by shooting into a moving vehicle with three passengers on a busy interstate."

"It is undeniably clear," she said, "that he should spend the rest of his life in prison."