Thomas Michael Dixon Re-trial: Day 1

Thomas Michael Dixon Re-trial: Day 1
Dr. Joseph Sonnier
Dr. Joseph Sonnier
David Neal Shepard
David Neal Shepard
Crime Scene - July 11, 2012
Crime Scene - July 11, 2012

UPDATE: Lubbock, TX - After hearing from nine witnesses and spending hours looking at photos from the crime scene as well as physical evidence, day one of the Dixon murder re-trial has come to a close

The prosecution and defense spent almost an hour giving their opening statements, followed by nine witnesses called in by the prosecution.

Five witnesses were asked to testify to Sonnier's character, and they all agreed he was a good man.

One witness said very powerfully that Sonnier's life was quote "a life lost in senselessness."

The prosecution announced early on that Paul Reynolds, David Shepard's former roommate, will testify for the first time during the re-trial.

Regarding evidence, the defense announced that of 641 text messages sent between Dixon and Shepard, just over half of those will be presented.

The Dixon murder re-trial will reconvene Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m.


Lubbock, TX - The capital murder re-trial for Amarillo doctor Thomas Michael Dixon has begun today in Lubbock.

Dixon is accused of hiring a hit man, David Shepard, to kill Dr. Joseph Sonnier of Lubbock who was dating Dixon's ex girlfriend.

Dixon's original trial ended last November in a mistrial when the jury couldn't reach a unanimous verdict.

Today after a late start, both the prosecution and defense gave their opening statements to the jury, and there's one thing they both agreed on: that the jury should "use their reason and common sense."

The prosecution argues that Shepard would never have killed Sonnier if it weren't for Dixon. They also say Paul Reynolds, Shepard's roommate, will testify for the first time.

The defense goes through the major players in the case: Dixon, Sonnier and Shepard.

They describe Dixon as a good man, and call Shepard a big burly disheveled man with many problems

The prosecution tells jurors, use your reason and common sense, don't let someone pour water on your back and tell you it's raining.

The defense says, you don't have to like Mike, you don't have to appreciate anything he did, all you have to do is follow along...we do not speculate, assume or guess people into prison.


Trial witness summary:

1 - Prosecution calls Dallas Sonnier to the stand, Dr. Sonnier's oldest son. Asks him to talk about some family pictures, asks him how/where he found out about his father's death.

2 - Melissa Rosco, had 911 dispatch recorded, was on the stand for maybe 5 minutes max.

3 - Becky Shurbet, landscaper w/ husband for Sonnier, made the 911 call about his murder, emotional when they played back the call.

4 - Marylu Trevino, worked with pathology center that provided service to Sonnier's hospital. Worked with Sonnier for about six years

5 - Mary Rodriguez, quest courier for Ameripath, picks up lab/blood test samples for testing, interacted with him every day. Was present when the 911 call was made, had talked to him 6pm the evening before.

6 - Nathan Gilmore, landscaping for Sonnier, took over for Sherbet when she was too hysterical to talk to 911.

7 - Dwayne Gerber, Lubbock Police Department, first officer to arrive on the scene, been on the force a little over 24 years, appeared to him someone had placed a gatorade bottle over the end of the pistol to silence it.

8 - Whitney McClendon, forensics specialist for LPD, describes and confirms pictures from the crime scene.

9 - Garland Timms, more than 30 years with LPD, photographed and catalogued the crime scene, said house was super clean.