LUBBOCK, Texas — Thomas Michael Dixon returned to the Lubbock County Detention Center on Thursday. He had been held since Monday evening in the Randall County Jail for capital murder.
Dixon, a former medical doctor, was twice convicted by a jury in Lubbock. In the most recent case, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin ruled that Dixon’s conviction could indeed stand.
The new opinion over-ruled the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Amarillo which had tossed out the conviction on constitutional grounds including the right to a public trial and the use of certain cell phone data without a search warrant.
Dixon was convicted of hiring David Neal Shepard to kill Dr. Joseph Sonnier in Southwest Lubbock in 2012. Dr. Dixon of Amarillo and Dr. Sonnier of Lubbock had a romantic interest in the same woman, according to testimony presented at trial.
Dixon was sentenced to life in prison.
In January 2019, Dixon was allowed to go free on bond while the appeals process played out.
In his return to the Lubbock County Detention Center on Thursday, Dixon was seen wearing a face covering consistent with health guidelines issued nationwide to slow the spread of COVID-19 or coronavirus.