Death Penalty being sought for Amarillo Doctor accused in murder-for-hire plot

Death Penalty being sought for Amarillo Doctor accused in murder-for-hire plot

The death penalty is being sought for an Amarillo doctor accused of being involved in murder-for-hire plot.

Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon, has been in custody since July 2012. But an announcement made today by Lubbock's District Attorney suggests the case is moving forward.

Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell says he will pursue the death penalty against plastic surgeon Thomas Michael Dixon. Dixon is accused of hiring David Neal Shepard to murder Lubbock Pathologist, Dr. Joseph Sonnier, who was dating Dixon's ex-girlfriend.

Prosecutors say Shepard broke into Sonnier's Lubbock home in July 2012 and used a gun Dixon had given him to kill Sonnier.

When we spoke to the District Attorney on the anniversary of Sonnier's death in July, Powell told us, determining the appropriate punishment for both men involved in the murder-for-hire plot would take some time. "For me to make a determination if we're going to seek the death penalty on those, that's another thing that's kind of slowed this process down because I want to know everything I can about each defendant before I make a decision," Powell said during a July interview.

But now, once the Amarillo Plastic Surgeon goes to trial he will face the death penalty if convicted.

Shepard is already serving life in prison without parole, as part of a plea deal made earlier this year, that eliminated the possibility of a death penalty for him.

At this time, Dixon does not have a trial date scheduled.

Colleen Nelson - NewsChannel 10