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Texas man who killed doctor in alleged murder-for-hire plot sentenced to life in prison

A Texas man who pleaded guilty to killing a doctor in what prosecutors say was a murder-for-hire plot has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

David Neal Shepard was sentenced during a brief hearing Monday in Lubbock. He pleaded guilty last month to capital murder in the July 2012 fatal shooting of Dr. Joseph Sonnier III. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors agreed to not seek the death penalty.

Prosecutors say Thomas Michael Dixon hired Shepard to kill Sonnier, who was dating Dixon's ex-girlfriend. They say Shepard broke into Sonnier's home and shot him several times with a gun Dixon had given him and stabbed him.

Dixon, of Amarillo, remains in jail on a capital murder charge.

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