Texas Lake Searched In Slaying Of Doctor Killed In Murder-For-Hire

AMARILLO (October 3, 2012)--Police searched a lake Wednesday west of Amarillo as they investigate the slaying of a Lubbock doctor in what they think was a killing-for-hire.

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

David Neal Shepard, who prosecutors say killed Sonnier, was at Lawrence Lake with authorities and the Amarillo Globe-News reported that he led them to spot where he made a throwing motion.

Police later searched that area.

Prosecutors say 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 both charged with capital murder.

A judge has ordered plea bargain negotiations for each.