Doctor's death case police search lake near Amarillo

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) - Police searched a lake west of Amarillo as they investigate the slaying of a Lubbock doctor in an alleged killing-for-hire.

They say an Amarillo plastic surgeon paid another man in silver bars to kill Dr. James Sonnier (SAHN'-yay) III in July.

David Neal Shepard, who prosecutors say killed Sonnier, was at Lawrence Lake with authorities. The Amarillo Globe-News ( reports 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 charged with capital murder, and a judge has ordered plea bargain negotiations for each.

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