Shepard pleads guilty to murder of Lubbock doctor

Reported by: Ashley Claster
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Updated: 8/29/2013 9:30 pm
David Neal Shepard saved his own life by pleading guilty to the life he took. It is a confession that will spare him from facing a possible death sentence.

Shepard pleded guilty today to capital murder. He shot and stabbed Lubbock doctor, Joseph Sonnier, multiple times last July.

Amarillo plastic surgeon, Doctor Thomas Michael Dixon is accused of hiring Shepard to kill Sonnier. Police say the motive was jealousy. Reportedly, Sonnier was dating Dixon's ex-girlfriend. 

Police say that is what led Dixon to hire Shepard with three silver bars worth nine thousand dollars as payment.

Police found the father of three dead inside his home, after landscapers noticed a broken window and called police. Here is an excerpt from the 911 call:

        "Caller: I need somebody at 4603 21st, someone is... There is a bullet, the door has been broken into, it's the house that I work at.

        Dispatch: A door is broken? You said something about a bullet?

         Caller: Somebody has broken a window in the back and the doctor did not show up for work today. There was a bullet in.. That was laying on the ground."

Reports say Shepard tried to commit suicide after the murder. Because of his guilty plea, Shepard will not face the death penalty. But, he is still potentially facing life in prison without parole.

Dan Hurley, the defense attorney for Doctor Dixon, thinks Shepard beat the system.

"it's a sad day for justice in Lubbock County," Hurley said. "It appears that Mr. David Shepard has successfully duped and deceived the DA's office into this plea bargain. It's a sad day."

Doctor Dixon's trial is still pending, and the prosecutors in the District Attorney's office have made their intentions clear. They will seek the death penalty.
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