Home >  News >  July, 2012

Plastic Surgeon Arrested in Murder-for-Hire Plot

Paid $9,000 in silver for killing of romantic rival.

Published: July 17, 2012

A prominent West Texas plastic surgeon paid another man 3 100 oz. silver bars, valued at $9,000, for the murder of another doctor who was dating his ex-girlfriend, say police.

Thomas M. Dixon, MD, 48, and David N. Shepard, 51, of Amarillo, were arrested Monday in connection with the shooting and stabbing death of Joseph A. Sonnier III, MD, 57, of Lubbock.

According to published reports, Dr. Sonnier, the chief pathologist at Covenant Health System, was found dead at his home last Wednesday.

The woman, who was not identified, as well as one of Dr. Sonnier's co-workers, reportedly told police that Dr. Dixon had been hounding her. And Mr. Shepard's roommate relayed the man's accounts of stalking Dr. Sonnier, breaking into his house and shooting him with a gun supplied by Dr. Dixon.

David Bernard

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