Appeals court orders bond revoked for Dixon during murder-for-hi - FOX34 Lubbock

Appeals court revokes Dixon's bond in murder-for-hire appeal

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AMARILLO, Texas -

The man convicted of hiring a hitman with silver bars to kill a romantic rival will return to state prison following an order from an appeals court Friday.

Thomas Dixon was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the death of Lubbock pathologist Joseph Sonnier in 2012. He hired his business partner, David Shepard, with silver bars worth about $9,000 to kill Sonnier in his home.

In December 2018, the Amarillo-based Seventh Court of Appeals reversed Dixon's conviction, finding the state used improperly-gathered cell phone evidence, among other issues. The Court granted Dixon $2 million bond, which he paid and left jail in January 2019.

A year later, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals found that ruling "erroneous," reversing and remanding the case back to the appellate level. On April 1, the Court of Criminal Appeals reaffirmed Dixon's conviction by denying him another trial, and Lubbock County's district attorney requested the court revoke Dixon's bond since he's exhausted his state appeals; Dixon's attorneys argued the process isn't finished until a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Seventh Court panel finds there's no state or federal right to bail pending an appeal to the Supreme Court. On Friday, the judges ordered the 140th District Court in Lubbock to revoke Dixon's bond and return him to prison.

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