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Police search lake as probe of slaying of Lubbock doctor in alleged killing-for-hire continues

Published On: Oct 04 2012 07:47:15 AM CDT
Texas News - spotlight
AMARILLO, Texas (AP) -

Police searched a lake west of Amarillo as they investigate the slaying of a Lubbock doctor in an alleged killing-for-hire.

They say an Amarillo plastic surgeon paid another man in silver bars to kill Dr. James SonnierĀ  III in July.

David Neal Shepard, who prosecutors say killed Sonnier, was at Lawrence Lake with authorities. He led them to spot where he made a throwing motion. Police later searched that area.

Prosecutors have said Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon hired Shepard and paid him three silver bars worth about $3,000 each.

Sonnier's girlfriend told police Dixon, her 48-year-old ex-boyfriend, insisted on seeing her even though she was dating Sonnier.

Shepard and Dixon are charged with capital murder, and a judge has ordered plea bargain negotiations for each.