Prosecutors fighting bond request of Amarillo doctor receiving new trial for paying man to kill romantic rival

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Prosecutors are fighting the bond request of Dr. Thomas Dixon, an Amarillo doctor who was convicted of capital murder by paying to have his romantic rival killed in Lubbock.

Earlier this month, Dr. Dixon won a new trial and requested a $100,000 bond release.

The state is fighting Dr. Dixon’s request and instead wants his bond set at $2 million before possible review of the murder conviction by the Court of Criminal Appeals and a retrial at the district level.

Prosecutors said in a filing on Thursday that the bail should be $2 million like it was during Dr. Dixon’s two earlier trials, since he has no ties to Lubbock and faces the harshest possible sentences of life in prison with no parole or the death penalty.

Dr. Dixon previously used family land, worth at least $3 million, for collateral before.

The state also requested a list of conditions for Dr. Dixon’s release, including a nighttime curfew, daily reporting and wearing a GPS device.

The Seventh Court of Appeals gave him a new trialed based on the state using cell phone records obtained without a warrant and a judge closing the public trial at times.

In July 2012, Lubbock pathologist Dr. Joseph Sonnier was found shot and stabbed to death in his home.

David Shepard accepted a plea deal for Dr. Sonnier’s murder in 2013 and is currently serving a life in prison sentence.

It was later found the two doctors knew each other through Dr. Dixon’s ex-girlfriend, Richelle Shetina. Shortly after the two ended their relationship, Shetina began to date Sonnier.

A jury convicted Dr. Dixon for paying Shepard to kill Dr. Sonnier in 2015 after an initial mistrial.

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