Jury selection set to begin in trial of Amarillo doc accused of hiring man to kill Lubbock doc


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LUBBOCK, Texas — Jury selection is to begin in the trial of an Amarillo plastic surgeon accused in a murder-for-hire plot to kill a Lubbock pathologist who was dating his former girlfriend.

Interviews of potential jurors begin Tuesday for the capital murder trial of 50-year-old Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon, who's been jailed since his arrest.

Prosecutors say he offered another man three silver bars worth $9,000 to kill Dr. Joseph Sonnier III in July 2012. The 57-year-old chief pathologist at a Lubbock hospital was dating Dixon's ex-girlfriend when he died.

The accused hit man is serving life in prison without parole as part of a plea deal. Prosecutors say he broke into Sonnier's home and used a gun Dixon had given him.

Prosecutors recently decided to not seek the death penalty for Dixon.

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