Day 9: Shepard admits to killing Dr. Sonnier after avoiding questions about murder
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Testimony is done in day 9 of the capital murder trial of Amarillo plastic surgeon Thomas Dixon.
Dixon is accused of hiring David Shepard to kill former Covenant Chief Pathologist Dr. Joseph Sonnier III in July 2012.
Shepard has already pleaded guilty to killing Dr. Sonnier. He is currently serving a sentence of life in prison without parole.
On Thursday, David Shepard continued to testify about his relationship with Dixon and the events surrounding the murder of Dr. Sonnier.
Shepard continued to avoid answering questions about Sonnier's murder, telling Lubbock District Attorney Matt Powell that he did not want to incriminate himself. Powell continued to ask how many times Shepard was in Dr. Sonnier's back yard. Shepard said he was only there once, on July 10, 2012 - the day Sonnier was murdered.
Powell asked Shepard why he threw away the gun used to kill Dr. Sonnier. Shepard said he didn't want to incriminate himself again.
Shepard finally admitted to killing Sonnier around 10:45 am. He said that he didn't mean to hurt Sonnier, just wanted to confront him, but he said the end result hurt a lot of people.
He told the court that he was in Sonnier's backyard to confront him on July 10, 2012, with gloves, a bandana to cover his face, a knife and a pistol.
He claims the gun was to scare Sonnier and let him know that Richelle Shetina was a bad person.
Shepard says he stuck the gun with a Gatorade bottle attached as a silencer, inside of a window that Sonnier had left slightly open. He testified that the gun accidentally fired multiple times, hitting Sonnier.
Shepard says he then pushed Sonnier's window in and followed him to the garage.
Shepard testified that he heard Sonnier take his last breath and stabbed him multiple times.
Towards the end of his testimony, Shepard said that he would not have known anything about Sonnier, Shetina, and their lives unless Thomas Dixon had given him that information.
Shepard maintains that he did not mean to bring harm to Dr. Sonnier.
We will continue to provide live updates throughout the day as the trial continues. Follow us on Twitter @KCBD11 and look for all of the latest updates on kcbd.com.
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