Doctor Denies Hiring Man to Kill Pathologist

A West Texas plastic surgeon has denied hiring a hit man to kill a pathologist who was dating his former girlfriend.

Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon is on trial for the second time facing allegations that he hired his business partner to kill Dr. Joseph Sonnier III in July 2012, in exchange for three bars of silver valued at $9,000.

Dixon claims he paid David Neal Shepard the silver to take photographs of Sonnier with other women to try and ruin Sonnier's relationship with Dixon's former girlfriend.

Shepard agreed to a plea deal in 2013 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict during his capital murder trial last year, prompting prosecutors to retry him.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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