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Thomas Michael Dixon Sentenced to LWOP in 2012 TX Slaying of Joseph Sonnier III
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Thread: Thomas Michael Dixon Sentenced to LWOP in 2012 TX Slaying of Joseph Sonnier III

  1. #1
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Thomas Michael Dixon Sentenced to LWOP in 2012 TX Slaying of Joseph Sonnier III


    Dr. Joseph Sonnier III


    Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon


    DA to seek death penalty in capital murder trial

    The prosecutor in the trial of an Amarillo plastic surgeon accused in a murder-for-hire plot says he'll seek the death penalty.

    Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell said Wednesday that he'll pursue the death penalty for Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon.

    Prosecutors say the 49-year-old surgeon offered another man three silver bars worth $3,000 each to kill Dr. Joseph Sonnier III. The 57-year-old chief pathologist at Covenant Health System in Lubbock was dating Dixon's ex-girlfriend when he died.

    The accused hit man, David Neal Shepard, is serving life in prison without a parole option as part of a plea deal that eliminated the possibility of a death penalty.

    Prosecutors say Shepard broke into Sonnier's home in July 2012 and used a gun Dixon had given him to kill him.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/art...al-4996777.php
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  2. #2
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    Judge Issues Gag Order in Dixon Capital Murder Case

    LUBBOCK -- State District Judge Jim Bob Darnell in Lubbock issued a gag order in the capital murder case of Thomas Dixon, 50, of Amarillo. Dixon is charged in the murder-for-hire plot that took the life of Dr. Joseph Sonnier of Lubbock. Sonnier was the Chief Pathologist for Covenant Health System well known and well respected in the community. He was found shot and stabbed to death in his home.

    In his order, file stamped Wednesday at 11:27 am, Darnell wrote, It has been brought to my attention this case attracted news coverage nationally around the time the Defendant was arrested in July 2012.

    Darnells order continued, Due to this information, the Court orders that those persons involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case to refrain from further communication with all news media regarding this case or the defendants.

    Dixon is held in the Lubbock County Detention Center in lieu of a $10,000,000 bond. The Criminal District Attorney for Lubbock County, Matt Powell, said in November 2013 his office would seek the death penalty.

    Dixons trial is scheduled for the fall of 2014.

    http://www.myhighplains.com/story/d/...PkSMFPn5pR0Ixg

  3. #3
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    Defense lawyers question detectives in murder-for-hire case

    Search warrants, and evidence police collected is challenged in a pre-trial hearing for the defendant in a Lubbock murder-for-hire case.

    Amarillo Plastic Surgeon, Thomas Michael Dixon, is accused of hiring another Amarillo man to kill Lubbock Pathologist Joseph Sonnier in July of 2012.

    Co-Defendant David Neal Shepard pleaded guilty to capital murder last September, and is serving life without parole.

    Dixon's lawyers questioned LPD detectives about sworn statements they filed to get warrants to search Dixon's home.

    Investigators said they omitted the parts of Shepard's roommate's statement to them that were unrelated to Sonnier's murder.
    Dixon's lawyers argue the roommate's full statement shows that Shepard was not reliable or credible.

    The detectives also answered questions about how Dixon's smart phone, a thumb drive, and other items not listed in the search warrant were obtained.

    More testimony in the pre-trial hearing is expected next month

    http://www.oldies977lubbock.com/cont...d5Sw5HC6w.cspx
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  4. #4
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    Death penalty withdrawn in Dixon capital murder case

    The Lubbock County District Attorneys office is no longer seeking the death penalty in the capital murder case of Thomas Dixon, according to a spokesperson with the 140th district judges office.

    The DAs office withdrew their intent to seek the death penalty case in August, the spokesperson said.

    Dixon, 50, is an Amarillo doctor accused in the 2012 murder for hire plot against a romantic rival in Lubbock.

    He is being held at the Lubbock County Detention Center on a charge of capital murder.

    The punishment for capital offenses include the death penalty or life imprisonment.

    Dr. Joseph Sonnier was found dead at his Lubbock home in 2012. He was shot and stabbed, according to an arrest warrant.

    The 57-year-old chief pathologist at Covenant Health System in Lubbock was dating Dixons ex-girlfriend when he died.
    David Neal Shepard, admitted to killing Sonnier and pleaded guilty in November. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

    Prosecutors are accusing Dixon of paying Shepard three silver worth $3,000 each for killing Sonnier.

    Investigators described Dixon and Shepard as business associates.

    Shepards roommate called police after he said Shepard admitted to him to killing Sonnier.

    The case is expected to go to trial in late October.

    Judge Jim Bob Darnell issued a news media gag order on the parties of the case prohibiting them from speaking to the media about the case.

    The district attorneys office in October 2013 filed its intent to seek the death penalty in the case.

    A spokesperson for Darnells office could not say why the death penalty sentence was withdrawn.

    http://lubbockonline.com/filed-onlin...e#.VBeM-UBc68t
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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  5. #5
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    Capital murder trial for Dr. Thomas Dixon begins Tuesday

    Jury selection is about to begin in the capital murder trial of Dr. Thomas Dixon. The Amarillo plastic surgeon is accused of hiring a hitman to kill Covenant Dr. Joseph Sonnier.

    Dr. Sonnier was found shot and stabbed to death in his Lubbock home in July 2012. David Neal Shepard was sentenced to life in prison without parole last September after pleading guilty to committing the murder.

    Questionnaires were sent to prospective jury members more than a week ago, asking questions about this type of crime and punishments to coincide. The selection process continues in court Tuesday with the hope that the trial can begin a week from today, October 20th.

    Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty in this case.

    http://www.myfoxlubbock.com/news/loc...iJ6v2A5tQ.cspx
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  6. #6
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    Trial of Amarillo doctor in West Texas hit man plot to start

    The trial of an Amarillo plastic surgeon accused in a murder-for-hire plot to kill a Lubbock pathologist who was dating his former girlfriend is set to begin.

    Prosecutors and attorneys for 50-year-old Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon, who's been jailed since his arrest, were scheduled to give opening statements in the capital murder trial Monday in Lubbock.

    Prosecutors say Dixon offered another man three silver bars worth $9,000 to kill Dr. Joseph Sonnier III in July 2012. The 57-year-old chief pathologist of a Lubbock hospital was dating Dixon's ex-girlfriend when he died.

    The hit man is serving life in prison without parole as part of a plea deal. Prosecutors say he used a gun Dixon had given him.

    Prosecutors recently decided to not seek the death penalty for Dixon.

    http://www.ktxs.com/news/trial-of-am...start/29357816
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    Day Ten: Shepard's Testimony Concludes

    Lubbock, TX - Day 10 of the Thomas Dixon trial concludes as convicted murderer David Shepard finishes his testimony.

    Shepard's testimony ended Friday but not before he made statements about how Dixon had no involvement in the murder of Dr. Joseph Sonnier. The prosecution stated multiple times Shepard would have never known the whereabouts of Sonnier if it weren't for Dixon.

    Shepard agreed with this statement but said the death of Sonnier was his own fault because of carelessness. The defense questioned Shepard's mental stability, and implies his actions had a lot to do with the fact he was depressed and going through financial issues.

    Shepard said he would classify himself as psychotic during the months leading up to the murder. He stated he would use nicotine and alcohol to dumb the pain.

    In a new twist of the trial, Shepard denies Dixon's involvement with the murder, however he said his former roommate, Paul Reynolds, initially instigated the idea of Sonnier's death.

    Shepard said Reynolds put the ideas in his head of ways to murder Sonnier and get away with it. He allegedly encouraged him to go through with it and even told him how to use a gatorade bottle as a gun silencer.

    He said Reynolds is the only person who knew he had brought a gun, knife and belt to Sonnier's residence the day of the murder. Shepard adds he was very unstable at this time and told Reynolds he wanted to kill himself. According to Shepard, Reynolds told him to "up and do it."

    The cross examination revealed the 30-year friendship between the two became rocky when Shepard excluded Reynolds from a business he had started with Dixon. Shepard said there is no doubt in his mind Reynolds hated doctors.

    The prosecution wasn't convinced and still questions Shepard's answers on the stand. Shepard told the media he is looking to get another trial, which explains his non-compliant behavior.

    The trial will begin again Monday morning.

    http://www.newschannel10.com/story/2...n-murder-trial
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  8. #8
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    Dixon Murder Trial: Day 12

    The prosecution rested it's case Wednesday in the capital murder trial of Amarillo doctor Thomas Michael Dixon.

    Immediately afterward, the defense asked the judge to declare Dixon "not guilty." The judge denied the request.

    The defense contends the only thing the prosecution could prove was that Dixon's friend, David Neal Shepard killed Lubbock pathologist Dr. Joseph Sonnier.

    Dixon is accused of paying Shepard to kill Sonnier because he was dating an ex-girlfriend of Dixons.

    Meanwhile, the defense team questioned an ex-girlfriend of the murder victim, Dr. Sonnier, about his alleged sex addiction outside the presence of the jury.

    They then asked the judge to allow her to testify in front of the jury.

    The judge denied the defense's request to allow the ex-girlfriend to testify after the prosecution objected, calling it a character assassination of the victim.

    The defense shot back claiming their entire defense is centered around proving Dr. Sonnier was a Ladies Man and that their client only wanted to expose him as such.

    Before resting, the prosecution called the Lubbock medical examiner to the stand.

    Dr. Sridhar Natarajan detailed the five bullet wounds that entered Dr. Sonnier's body, with no exit wounds.

    The medical examiner said Sonnier may have still been alive when he was stabbed eleven times following the shooting.

    He told the court all eleven stab wounds show hemorrhaging, indicating Sonnier was still alive for all eleven.

    The prosecution called dozens of witnesses while presenting it's case over the last two weeks, minus one big player. The roommate of David Shepard.

    Shepard alleges the roommate helped plan the murder

    That same roommate is the person who tipped-off police that Shepard and Dixon had allegedly planned and carried out the 2012 murder.

    The defense has repeatedly tried pointing the finger at the roommate as a co-conspirator rather than Dixon. But, they too told the judge they do not intend to call him to the stand even though he was in the courthouse Wednesday.

    The defense team indicated at the start of the trial that Dixon would testify in his own defense but, it's unknown when and if he'll actually take the stand.

    Testimony continues for a 13th day Thursday starting at 9 a.m.

    http://www.myhighplains.com/story/d/...dEqQ5dtrKKXjWA
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  9. #9
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    Day Thirteen: Thomas Dixon Murder Trial, Dixon takes the stand

    Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon has taken the stand Thursday to testify in his own case where he has pleaded not guilty to murder for hire.

    Dixon took the stand confidently as he presented to the jury his relationship with Richelle Shetina, the woman allegedly involved in the love triangle between him and Lubbock Dr. Joseph Sonnier.

    He spoke of how he began dating her after he met her at his medical spa in Amarillo where he gave her Botox injections.

    His wife Shannon learned of the affair and filed for divorce a day later, which eventually took a year to finalize.

    During this year Dixon and Shetina dated and once the divorce was official Dixon says she pressured him to meet his children.

    Dixon wasn't ready and said the relationship became volatile as she also pressured him for an engagement.

    He said week by week he never knew the Shetina he would get, whether she'd be kind or vindictive.

    When Shetina began dating Sonnier, Dixon says she would compare the two by writing Facebook posts and that it hurt his "male ego."

    Dixon says he never had intentions to hurt or murder anybody. The defense is making a point to prove Shepard was not a trustworthy man and deceived Dixon.

    He says he trusted Shepard and they were friends, but has since learned of his deceit. Dixon claims to not know Shepard's 30,000 fraud, bankruptcy and theft of money from a woman's dead father.

    He says he did plan with Shepard to follow Sonnier and he is not proud of it, but again he says there were no intentions of hurting anybody. He says with time, he realized Shepard wasn't the man he thought he was.

    The messages seemed sinister and implied some kind of plan to mess with Sonnier. Dixon's attorneys prove these messages were out of context and reports state a good majority of these messages were missing.

    As Dixon went through the texts, he explained each ones context, proving he did have a plan to watch Sonnier, but that was it. He says he didn't even know Shepard committed the murder and says he never even knew he had the weapons to do it. Just before the prosecution took to questioning Dixon, he stated he had no involvement in the murder of Sonnier and that he realizes his actions to get photographs of Sonnier were stupid and hurt others.

    He says he just wanted to prove to Shetina that he was right. The prosecution revealed Dixon didn't want to be involved in a murder, which is why he didn't tell police about Shepard. Dixon says he knew Shepard had been down to Sonnier's house that week and was afraid his actions might have something to do with the murder. Prosecution also revealed Dixon lied during the initial police visit he received at his home to save himself from being connected to the murder.

    Dixon says he is telling the truth today, to which the prosecution replied, "isn't that what Dave Shepard said during his testimony?"

    Testimony will resume Friday morning.

    http://www.telemundoamarillo.com/sto...n-murder-trial
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    Day 14: Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon Trial

    It's day 14 of the Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon Trial.

    Court is looking at text message records again.

    They show messages deleted off of confessed killer David Shepard's phone.

    Text from Shepard to Dixon in May, 2012 "He (Sonnier) just pulled up" Dixon replied "get er done"

    Dixon: "I don't know why Dave Shepard did the things he did."

    Shepard texted Dixon: "Need booties." Dixon says they were to conceal footprints in the alleyway.

    Texts show both Dixon and Shepard were waiting for a storm. Dixon says it was to conceal Shepard while he installed a camera.

    Dixon on trying to spy on Sonnier: "I shouldn't have done it, I'm not proud of it, but I did do it."

    Dixon: "I certainly don't feel like I'm responsible for Joseph Sonnier's murder"

    Text from Shepard on the 9th: "I've got a good feeling about tomorrow." Dr Sonnier was murdered on the 10th

    Dixon : "I believe that Dave Shepard is the person who murdered Dr Sonnier"

    (2:17 p.m.) Prosecution has passed Dixon and Defense says they are done as well. Dixon is done on the stand. Jury has a brief recess.

    http://www.myhighplains.com/story/d/...P0OGTIGXdBBjrw
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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