A man has been arrested in the murder-for-hire shooting death of a Texas pediatric dentist and an arrest warrant has been issued for a woman suspected of hiring him, police said Friday.
Dallas Police Maj. Max Geron said 31-year-old Kristopher Love has been charged with capital murder in the Sept. 2 death of Kendra Hatcher. Geron said Love, also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, has been identified as the person who shot Hatcher in her apartment complex’s parking garage.
He said that when Love was arrested, he was in possession of the gun believed to have killed 35-year-old Hatcher. Love was in Dallas County jail on $2.5 million bond. Jail records didn’t list an attorney.
Police say they are searching for Brenda Delgado, 33, who is accused of planning the murder, according to the Dallas Morning News. Delgado “ended a two-year relationship with Hatcher’s current boyfriend earlier this year,” according to WFAA.
Geron, who did not discuss a motive at the Friday night news conference, said that the woman "was involved in the planning and the commission of the offense."
Earlier this month, a woman accused of driving the shooter to the garage was arrested. Crystal Cortes, 23, was arrested on Sept. 5 and charged with capital murder in the case. She remained in Dallas County jail Friday on $500,000 bond.
Police say Cortes admitted to conspiring with Delgado in a plot to rob Hatcher. Cortes allegedly told police she was paid $500 to drive Love to the parking garage at Hatcher’s Gable Park 17 apartment building in a borrowed jeep on Sept. 2. She then watched as the male shoot and rob Hatcher, before the pair fled.
Delgado was reportedly jealous of her ex-boyfriend, Ricardo Paniagua, and his new relationship with Hatcher. The envy grew when Paniagua took Hatcher to San Francisco to meet his parents, according to the News.
WFAA, citing information in police warrants, reports Cortes also told police that the Delgado tracked Hatcher’s movements prior to the robbery attempt via an iPhone.
Cops were led to Cortes when they released security footage of the jeep she was driving. The jeep’s owner saw a news report on the case and contacted police, telling them he had loaned the vehicle to the ex-girlfriend. When interviewed by authorities, she said she loaned the jeep to Cortes.
Delgado previously had been charged with speeding and failure to have valid car insurance, according to the Dallas Morning News. She was arrested in early September on a traffic warrant several hours after Cortes’ arrest and after cops obtained a warrant to search her apartment, the News reported. But cops released her from the Dallas County Jail later that night.
George Ashford III, Cortes’ attorney, has said Cortes thought the plan was to rob Hatcher, not kill her.
Last month, Hatcher’s family released a statement hoping for justice in the situation: “Kendra had so much to give, and we are so thankful her 35 years were lived to the fullest,” the family said. “We will miss Kendra tremendously, especially her laugh and smiles. But we cannot fully mourn and celebrate her life until the authorities apprehend the person(s) responsible for committing this senseless act.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.