The murder of pathologist Joseph Sonnier III in his own house on July 10, 2012, left the police baffled as to why and who would wish to hurt a doctor in such a way. But as they looked for answers, a tip led them to uncover a murder-for-hire scheme that was motivated by resentment, obsession, and a love triangle and only brought about fatalities. All of these and much more are highlighted in “Dateline: Lone Star Obsession.” David Shepard’s position as the hitman in this case is given particular attention, particularly because he changed his tale and astonished everyone when it came time for him to give a witness statement in court. Want to know his current location? Let’s investigate.
Who Is David Shepard?
Dr. Joseph Sonnier was found dead in his own house in July 2012 after being shot and stabbed. Soon later, a man by the name of Paul Reynolds told the police that David Neal Shepard had claimed to have killed someone in Lubbock while he was staying with him. Paul claimed that he conducted some web investigation and, upon seeing Joseph’s case, came to the conclusion that Joseph was David’s victim. David later admitted under questioning that his buddy and business colleague Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon had offered him three silver bars, each worth $3,000, along with a box of pricey Cuban cigars in exchange for getting rid of Joseph, his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend.
David further admitted that on that fatal day, he had broken into Joseph’s house and, as soon as the doctor returned from work, had stabbed and shot him numerous times with a revolver that Thomas Dixon had given him. The victim’s body was then carried to the garage, and as detectives investigated the crime scene, they followed a trail of blood. Additionally, records reveal that soon after killing Joseph in cold blood, David pawned off the silver bars at a nearby pawn shop. All of this occurred after Paul informed law enforcement that David had attempted suicide on July 13 by slicing his wrists. David’s daughter, on the other hand, asserted that since their father was constantly having financial difficulties, they were taken aback when he offered to take him out to dinner a few days after the murder. David Shepard was ultimately detained and charged with first-degree murder as a result.
Where Is David Shepard Now?
David Shepard declined to contest the accusation levelled at him. In addition, he had already entered a plea of guilty to the charge of capital murder by the time his case came before the court in September 2013. David agreed to forego his right to challenge his conviction as part of the plea agreement, and the prosecution decided against seeking the death penalty. Therefore, taking into account his guilty plea, the judge in 2013 gave him a life sentence without the possibility of release.
We should point out that this wasn’t David’s first run-in with the law. He admitted theft of $29,362.50 in 2001 and was sentenced to ten years of probation, which also included making restitution. Additionally, he was the subject of two hot-check allegations for which he was fined. David Shepard was a crucial witness in 2014 during the first trial for Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon. On the witness stand, he revised his testimony and informed the jury that he was the only person responsible for the murder.
He said that Thomas had handed him the silver bars for their 2011-founded company, Physician Ancillary Services Inc. As a result of the jury’s impasse, a mistrial was declared. David was not consulted the next year when Thomas was put on trial again. Instead, Thomas was found guilty based on his initial confession as well as the testimony of Paul Reynolds and David’s daughter, Haley Shepard. Haley admitted that she thought it was cowardly for her father to have lied in order to protect his friend. However, as parole is officially ruled out, David spends his days incarcerated at the J. Dale Wainwright Unit in Lovelady, Texas.
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