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Thomas Michael Dixon Sentenced to LWOP in 2012 TX Slaying of Joseph Sonnier III - Page 2
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Thread: Thomas Michael Dixon Sentenced to LWOP in 2012 TX Slaying of Joseph Sonnier III

  1. #11
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Mistrial Declared In Texas Surgeons Capital Murder Trial

    A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the capital murder trial of an Amarillo plastic surgeon charged in an alleged murder-for-hire plot to kill a Lubbock pathologist who was dating his ex-girlfriend.

    State District Judge Jim Bob Darnell announced the mistrial Wednesday after jurors deliberated for about seven hours but couldn't reach a unanimous verdict in the capital murder case of Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon.

    Dixon, 50, was accused of hiring his business partner, David Neal Shepard, to kill Dr. Joseph Sonnier III in July 2012 for three bars of silver valued at $9,000.

    Sonnier, 57, worked as the chief pathologist for Covenant Health System in Lubbock.

    Shepard is serving life in prison without parole as part of a plea deal.

    A landscaper and a maid found Sonniers body in July 2012 after a landscaping crew found a broken window at the doctors house.

    http://www.kwtx.com/home/headlines/M...283249631.html
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  2. #12
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    New Trial Date Set for Dr. Dixon Accused of Killing Another Dr. in Love Triangle

    On Thursday morning State District Judge Jim Bob Darnell entered an order to tentatively schedule Doctor Thomas Michael Dixon to go on trial October 12 at 9 am. His previous trial in November of 2014 ended in mistrial.

    Dixon, 51, of Amarillo is accused of capital murder for the shooting and stabbing death of rival medical doctor Joseph Sonnier in Lubbock. More specifically, Dixon is accused of hiring David Neal Sheppard to carry out the murder. Sheppard pleaded guilty and is currently serving life in prison.

    Prosecutors said Dixon initiated the contract killing because of a love triangle. Sonnier was dating a woman that Dixon has previously dated.

    http://www.myhighplains.com/story/d/...q0OKbR4B_l4JvA
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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  3. #13
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Trial date for Dixon capital murder case delayed by a week due to jury pool issues

    Trial date for Dixon case has week delay

    The second capital murder trial for Dr. Thomas Dixon has been pushed back a week.

    Jury pool issues have pushed back Dixons trial dates, court officials said Thursday. Jury selection is now set to begin Oct. 21 and testimony will begin Oct. 26.

    Dixon, an Amarillo plastic surgeon who was released on bond Wednesday, is accused of hiring a business partner in 2012 to kill Dr. Joseph Sonnier, a Lubbock pathologist who was dating Dixons ex-girlfriend.

    A three-week trial in 2014 ended in a mistrial after jurors could not agree on a verdict.

    http://lubbockonline.com/filed-onlin...s#.VgU-45eEPIV
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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  4. #14
    Moderator Ryan's Avatar
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    Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon released from jail on bond

    Amarillo, TX - A local doctor, Thomas Michael Dixon, jailed for nearly 3 years since his arrest in July of 2012 on suspicion of capital murder, bonded out Wednesday.

    After originally being jailed on a $10 million bond, a recent $8 million reduction of that bond allowed Dixon to walk out of jail. Some bondsman said it would be crazy to take on a $2 million dollar bond client, but today, it was done.

    Court records show Dixon paid $200,000 in cash as a partial security on the $2 million attorney bond.

    The Lubbock County Jail said now that Dixon has bonded out, anything tied to his name is confidential, such as what company took him as a bond client, and the conditions of his release.

    Dixon left the jail with trash bags in hand, presumably full of personal belongings and documents. He walked with his father to the car, anxious to resume a life more normal than that of one in jail.

    The plastic surgeon is accused of hiring hitman, David Shepard, to kill Lubbock pathologist, Joseph Sonnier.

    The state alleges Dixon's ex-girlfriend was dating Sonnier, and Dixon became jealous. It's also alleged Dixon paid Shepard in silver bars to commit the murder.

    Shepard confessed to the crime, and is serving a life sentence without parole.

    Dixon's capital murder trial ended nearly a year ago when a jury deadlocked on a verdict, resulting in a mistrial. A second trial is set to begin jury selection Oct. 12 with testimony beginning Oct. 21.

    NewsChannel 10 is working on finding out more about the conditions of Dixon's release, such as who he must report to or if there are any boundaries he must stay within while out of jail.

    http://www.newschannel10.com/story/3...ased-from-jail

  5. #15
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Retrial begins for West Texas man accused of arranging doctor's death

    LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Testimony has begun in the retrial of a Texas plastic surgeon accused of hiring a hit man to kill a pathologist who was dating his ex-girlfriend.

    Opening statements were held Monday in Lubbock in the trial of Thomas Michael Dixon, who's accused of hiring his business partner to kill Dr. Joseph Sonnier III in July 2012 for three bars of silver valued at $9,000.

    Lawyers told jurors the trial is expected to last several weeks.

    Dixon stood trial last year for capital murder but a judge declared a mistrial after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

    Dixon's business partner, David Neal Shepard, agreed to a plea deal and was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2013.

    http://www.ktxs.com/news/retrial-beg...death/36052896
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
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  6. #16
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    Texas Surgeon Convicted Of Capital Murder In Pathologist’s Death

    LUBBOCK - A West Texas jury deliberated less than two hours Wednesday before finding a plastic surgeon guilty of capital murder in the slaying of a pathologist who was dating his ex-girlfriend.

    The verdict came Wednesday afternoon in the retrial of Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon who’s accused of hiring business partner David Neal Shepard to kill Dr. Joseph Sonnier III in exchange for three bars of silver worth $9,000.

    Dixon denied involvement in the deadly shooting and stabbing at Sonnier's home in Lubbock.

    Shepard accepted a plea deal in 2013 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

    Dixon will receive a life sentence without parole automatically because prosecutors weren't seeking the death penalty.

    Dixon's first capital murder trial ended in a deadlocked jury.

    http://www.kwtx.com/home/headlines/T...351510611.html

  7. #17
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    Date set as Amarillo plastic surgeon convicted in murder-for-hire case seeks new trial

    About two months after jurors found him guilty in the 2012 murder-for-hire case of a prominent Lubbock doctor, Thomas Michael Dixon is seeking a new trial.

    A Jan. 29 hearing at the 140th District Court begins the appeals process for Dixon, who was convicted Nov. 18 on two counts of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

    Dixons attorney, Dan Hurley, said his client likely will not be present at the hearing.

    A 12-member jury found Dixon, an Amarillo plastic surgeon, guilty in the July 2012 slaying of Dr. Joseph Sonnier, the chief of pathology for Lubbocks Covenant Medical Center.

    Dixons conviction and sentence came after a three-week trial during which prosecutors presented evidence Dixon paid his business partner, David Neal Shepard, in silver bars and Cuban cigars to kill Sonnier, who was dating Dixons ex-girlfriend, Richelle Shetina.
    Sonnier was found July 11, 2012, lying face down in a pool of blood on the floor of his Lubbock homes garage. Investigators believe he was shot and stabbed to death the day before.

    A first trial in 2014 ended after three weeks with Judge Jim Bob Darnell declaring a mistrial when jurors could not reach a verdict.

    Jurors in the second trial deliberated for about four hours before returning with guilty verdicts.

    Shepard entered a plea of no contest to a capital murder charge in 2013 in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without parole.

    http://lubbockonline.com/crime-and-c...e#.VqJMh1IVDIU
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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  8. #18
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Dr. Dixon case will go to the states highest criminal court

    By MyHighPlains.com

    LUBBOCK, Texas The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday agreed to hear the Thomas Michael Dixon capital murder case.

    Dr. Dixon was convicted in Lubbock for the 2012 shooting and stabbing death of Dr. Joseph Sonnier. Prosecutors did not say Dixon was the triggerman. Instead, they made the case the Dixon paid David Shepard to do it.

    Dr. Dixon of Amarillo and Dr. Sonnier of Lubbock both had an interest in the same woman. Prosecutors claimed that was Dixons motive. Dixon claimed he was innocent.

    Shepard is serving a life sentence. Dixon is out on bond because the appeals court in late 2018 set aside the conviction.

    The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the State District Court in Lubbock violated Dixons right to a public trial and cell phone records were confiscated without a proper search warrant.

    In February, prosecutors wrote a petition for discretionary review to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Basically, prosecutors want the 7th Circuit ruling tossed out.

    Defense attorneys wrote a response urging against the review. On Wednesday, the court docket indicated the review would be granted. That does not mean the prosecutors won. Instead, it means the high court will review the ruling of the 7th Circuit. No specific timeline was listed in the court docket.

    https://www.myhighplains.com/news/lo...minal-court-2/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  9. #19
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Bobsicles's Avatar
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    Dixon still in prison for capital murder after Amarillo court dismisses 2nd count

    By Amber Stegall

    LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A former Lubbock doctor will continue to serve life in prison after being convicted of capital murder in 2015, after a second count was thrown out of court on Friday. The court agreed that he can’t be convicted twice for the same crime.

    The 7th Court of Appeals in Amarillo acquitted Thomas Dixon on the second count of capital murder he was handed in 2015, but because the first count of capital murder was affirmed, he will continue to serve his sentence of life without parole for the murder of Lubbock physician Joseph Sonnier, M.D.

    Sonnier was found murdered in his home on July 10, 2012. Court documents said, “...the result of a love triangle turned murder-for-hire plot.” The gunman, David Shepard, pleaded guilty to capital murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

    A jury found Dixon guilty of two counts of capital murder in 2015. Count One of the indictment alleged the offense was committed for remuneration. Count Two alleged the offense was committed in the course of a burglary of a habitation. That first trial resulted in a mistrial.

    After review in the Seventh District of Texas Court of Appeals, Dixon was acquitted on the charge of murder while committing a burglary.

    Because he was convicted twice for the murder of Sonnier, Dixon filed complaints with his appeal. One complaint said it was a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Double Jeopardy clause for him to be convicted twice for the same crime.

    In January 2020, the 7th Court of Appeals decision reversing Dr. Thomas Dixon’s murder-for-hire conviction was overturned by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in January. At the time, he was out of jail on a $2 million bond secured by family land. Justices revoked that bond in April 2020, and Dixon was sent back to jail

    Dixon’s attorneys argued to keep him out of jail while they filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices sent instructions to the Lubbock district court where Dixon was convicted to complete the bond revocation.

    Attorneys for Thomas Dixon appealed the conviction on 50 issues in three categories: insufficient evidence to convict, cell site information obtained without a warrant and the exclusion of the public from the courtroom on three occasions.

    According to the memorandum opinion from Justice Lawrence Doss filed on Jan. 13, 2022, the 7th Court of Appeals overruled issues 1 and 2, sufficiency-of-the-evidence challenges, but sustained his issues challenging the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress historical cell site location information obtained without a warrant (issues 43-47) and exclusion of the public from the courtroom (issues 11-16).

    “On the State’s petition for discretionary review, the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed our judgment as to the cell site location data and closed courtroom grounds and remanded for our consideration of Appellant’s remaining issues.”

    Other than issue 17, the double jeopardy complaint, all other issues were overruled and affirm Dixon’s conviction for capital murder.

    https://www.kcbd.com/2022/01/14/dixo...ses-2nd-count/
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