Amarillo, TX - Prosecutors plan to present new evidence in the murder-for-hire case involving local plastic surgeon, Thomas Michael Dixon.
The pretrial hearing of Dixon's case was held yesterday and it mainly focused on the issues of new evidence. And now, the defense is fighting to get that data thrown out.
Jail phone conversations of Dixon and his alleged murder-for-hire partner, David Shepard, have been obtained by prosecutors. It's unclear what this data will prove for the state, but it's offering copies to the defense.
Dixon is accused of hiring Shepard to kill Lubbock pathologist, Dr. Joseph Sonnier.
In what appears to be a complicated love triangle, Sonnier was dating Dixon's ex-girlfriend. He was stabbed and shot to death, and Shepard confessed to the crime.
Now, the state of Texas is fighting for the Sonnier family to prove Dixon put Shepard up to the task.
After a month long trial at the Lubbock County Courthouse in November, the jury deadlocked on a verdict, leading to a mistrial.
Jury selection for the second trial is set for Oct 12, with testimony scheduled to begin Oct. 23.
The defense has no plans of changing the venue for the trial unless it feels it can't find impartial jurors.
Dixon's defense team said it plans to object to the jail phone conversations that prosecutors plan to introduce in the trial.
The objection is based on the way detectives obtained the information.
Defense attorneys also asked to bring in Paul Reynolds to testify.
Reynolds was Shepard's roommate at the time of the murder, and turned Shepard in to police. Reynolds did not testify in the first trial.