Amarillo Doctor Will Not Face Death Penalty in Capital Murder Case

Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon is accused of paying David Neal Shepard $9,000 in silver bars to kill Dr. Joseph Sonnier. The Lubbock pathologist was found shot and stabbed to death in his Lubbock home in July of 2012.
LUBBOCK, TX -- An Amarillo doctor will not face the death penalty in an alleged murder-for-hire plot.

Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon is accused of paying David Neal Shepard $9,000 in silver bars to kill Dr. Joseph Sonnier.

The Lubbock pathologist was found shot and stabbed to death in his Lubbock home in July of 2012.

Judge Jim Bob Darnell issued a gag order in this case earlier this summer. Judge Darnell's office did confirm to an Amarillo television station, KAMR-TV, the district attorney would not seek the death penalty.

However, Dixon could face the same penalty as his alleged accomplice. If convicted, Dixon faces a maximum of life in prison without parole. This is the same punishment his alleged accomplice, David Neal Shepard, received last summer when he pleaded guilty.

Dixon's trial is expected to begin sometime in late October here in Lubbock. Dixon remains in the Lubbock County Jail on $10-million bond.
 


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