David Shepard pleads guilty in murder-for-hire - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

David Shepard pleads guilty in the murder-for-hire of Dr. Joseph Sonnier

Posted: Updated:
David Neal Shepard David Neal Shepard
Thomas Michael Dixon Thomas Michael Dixon
Dr. Joseph Sonnier III Dr. Joseph Sonnier III

Lubbock, TX - A 52-year-old man who prosecutors say was hired by an Amarillo plastic surgeon to kill a love rival in Texas entered a guilty plea Thursday.

David Neal Shepard entered the plea Thursday in a Lubbock courtroom in the killing of Dr. Joseph Sonnier III.

Sonnier's body was found, stabbed and shot, at his Lubbock home July 11th, 2012.

Authorities say Amarillo plastic surgeon Thomas Dixon hired Shepard to kill Sonnier because Sonnier, the chief pathologist for Covenant Health System in Lubbock, was dating Dixon's ex-girlfriend.

Dixon is also indicted on a capital murder charge. The arrest warrant affidavit says Dixon paid Shepard three bars of silver to commit the crime.

The judge says the state is recommending a sentence of life in prison without parole.

Shepard could have faced the death penalty. Sentencing is expected to take place in about two weeks.



  • Today's Local News HeadlinesToday's Local NewsMore>>

  • Car Seat Checkup at the Amarillo Fire Station

    Car Seat Checkup at the Amarillo Fire Station

    Amarillo, TX - If your child's car seat moves when the car stops or turns, seems too small, or allows your child to get out...local agencies want to help keep your child safe.
    Amarillo, TX - If your child's car seat moves when the car stops or turns, seems too small, or allows your child to get out...local agencies want to help keep your child safe.
  • Lane Closures for the Week

    Lane Closures for the Week

    Amarillo, TX - While you are out driving around this week here are some area lane closures to be aware of.
    Amarillo, TX - While you are out driving around this week here are some area lane closures to be aware of.
  • Aggressive weed brings trouble for Texas cotton growers

    Aggressive weed brings trouble for Texas cotton growers

    Sunday, July 27 2014 2:01 PM EDT2014-07-27 18:01:51 GMT
    LUBBOCK - A fast-spreading weed is causing problems in Texas cotton fields and could cost growers much of their harvest if left unchecked.
    LUBBOCK - A fast-spreading weed is causing problems in Texas cotton fields and could cost growers much of their harvest if left unchecked.