David Shepard pleads guilty in murder-for-hire - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

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

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.

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