Former Amarillo doctor accused of hiring hitman to kill romantic rival to post $2 million bond

VIDEO: Former Amarillo doctor accused of hiring hitman to kill romantic rival to post $2 million bond

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon, a former Amarillo doctor accused of hiring a hitman to kill a romantic rival, will have to post at $2 million bond while he waits for a retrial.

The Seventh Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Dr. Dixon has to meet that requirement to assure he will show up in court because the charges against him are so serious.

The same justices overturned his 2015 conviction in December. They agreed prosecutors used cell phone information without getting a warrant and that the judge closed the trial to the public at times.

Dr. Joseph Sonnier was found dead in his home in July of 2012.
Dr. Joseph Sonnier was found dead in his home in July of 2012.

In July 2012, Lubbock pathologist Dr. Joseph Sonnier was found shot and stabbed to death in his home.

David Shepard accepted a plea deal for Dr. Sonnier’s murder in 2013 and is currently serving a life in prison sentence.

David Neal Shepard, serving life in prison for the murder of Dr. Joseph Sonnier (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)
David Neal Shepard, serving life in prison for the murder of Dr. Joseph Sonnier (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)

It was later found the two doctors knew each other through Dr. Dixon’s ex-girlfriend, Richelle Shetina. Shortly after the two ended their relationship, Shetina began to date Sonnier.

A jury convicted Dr. Dixon for paying Shepard to kill Dr. Sonnier in 2015 after an initial mistrial. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Copyright 2019 KFDA. All rights reserved.