Suspect to enter plea in Texas doc murder-for-hire

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Associated Press

Posted on August 29, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 29 at 12:34 PM

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A 52-year-old man who prosecutors say was hired by a plastic surgeon to kill a love rival in Texas is expected to enter a guilty plea.

David Neal Shepard was indicted on a capital murder charge in the killing of Dr. Joseph Sonnier III in July 2012. Shepard is set to appear in a Lubbock courtroom Thursday morning.

Authorities say Thomas Michael Dixon of Amarillo hired Shepard to kill Sonnier, who was dating Dixon's ex-girlfriend.

The 57-year-old Sonnier was found dead from gunshot and stab wounds in his Lubbock home.

Dixon also has been indicted on a capital murder charge.

An arrest warrant affidavit says Dixon paid Shepard three bars of silver. It says Shepard's roommate told police that Shepard confessed to the crime after trying to commit suicide.

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