Dr. Joseph Sonnier was victim of murder-for-hire by plastic surgeon, police say

Police have arrested Dr. Michael Dixon, an Amarillo plastic surgeon, and David Neal Shepard for the murder-for-hire of Dr. Joseph Sonnier.  This is Dr. Dixon’s website.

Dr. Sonnier and Dr. Dixon apparently had a girlfriend in common.  Dr. Sonnier was divorced, and his ex-wife was also murdered almost two years to the day before Dr. Sonnier was.

It was Shepard that allegedly actually committed the murder; Shepard had surveilled Sonnier for weeks beforehand and had texted Dixon several times while watching Sonnier.

According to Shepard, Dr. Dixon paid him with three silver bars (the equivalent of about $9000) for the murder.

I will post more when more details emerge.


Source:  Police: Love triangle links Amarillo doctor to Lubbock physician’s murder | Amarillo Globe-News


Lubbock police said a love triangle was the motive in the murder-for-hire killing of Dr. Joseph Sonnier III, found shot and stabbed July 11.

Police arrested Dr.Thomas Michael Dixon, an Amarillo plastic surgeon, and David Neal Shepard. Both men were booked into the Randall County jail.

Police said a detective with the LPD interviewed the roommate of David Neal Shepard, who has known him for more than 30 years, court documents said.

Shepard told authorities he killed Sonnier because of a girlfriend Sonnier and Dixon had in common, records said.

The warrant reveals Shepard had been watching Sonnier for weeks and had been in the pathologist’s back yard. Shepard text messaged Dixon several times while watching Sonnier.

“David Shepard stated that he had shot Dr. Sonnier several times after coming in through a window,” the affidavit attached to the warrant says. “David Shepard described what was used to muffle the sound of the gunshots. What David Shepard described with what was found at the crime scene.”

Shepard said he was to be paid three silver bars by Dixon to kill Sonnier. The bars are worth about $3,000 each.

On July 15, Amarillo police notified a Lubbock detective that Shepard sold a 100-ounce bar of silver at an Amarillo pawn shop for $2,500.

That day, a Lubbock detective interviewed an unidentified roommate of Shepard’s, who said Shepard told him he killed Sonnier “due to some love triangle as there was a girlfriend that Dr. Sonnier and Michael Thomas Dixon had in common,” according to court records.

The roommate, who said he has known Shepard for three decades,  told investigators Shepard said Dixon paid him with three silver bars to kill Sonnier and that Dixon gave Shepard a gun. The roommate also observed that Shepard twice attempted to commit suicide, once by slashing his wrists on July 13.

Shepard told his roommate Dixon sewed up Shepard after the last suicide attempt.

Amarillo SWAT officers arrested Shepard about 1 a.m. Monday at 6100 Southwest 45th Avenue.

Neufeld said officers arrested him without incident and he was booked in the Randall County Jail. He said the department was not involved in the investigation.


  1. J says:

    So is Mrs. Sonnier’s murderer known? Reads like a Dateline plot.

Speak Your Mind


HTML tags are not allowed.