Love triangle may be at heart of doctor's murder

David Neal Shepard

A love triangle may be at the heart of a Lubbock physician's murder, involving a well-known plastic surgeon in Amarillo, according to an arrest warrant.

Dr. Thomas Dixon, a plastic surgeon in Amarillo, along with David Neal Shepard were booked into the Randall County Jail early Monday morning in connection with the murder of Dr. Joseph Sonnier III, the Randall County Sheriff's Office said.

Sonnier was the chief pathologist at Covenant Health System in Lubbock and was found dead at his home last week.

The roommate of Shepard was interviewed and according to an Affidavit For Arrest Warrant, he said he killed Sonnier because of a girlfriend Sonnier and Dixon had in common.

According to the warrant, Shepard had been watching Sonnier for weeks through the physician's back yard. The roommate told police how Shepard described the incident. What was described was consistent with what was found at the crime scene, authorities said.

Shepard's roommate told police he believed Shepard had shot Sonnier several times after coming in the house through a window.

The warrant for affidavit, according to the roommate said Shepard was paid with three silver bars, valued at about $3,000 each. The affidavit revealed Shepard may have come into money around Father's Day.

Additionally, the warrant for affidavit said Dixon provided his own gun to Shepard to kill Sonnier.

Dixon was transported to a Lubbock jail.