Dallas dentist murder getaway driver testifies against gunman, says mastermind was jealous

Kristopher Love was the member of the trio accused in the 2015 murder of a Dallas dentist who suggested shooting the woman would be the easiest way to kill her, according to Crystal Cortes, who's admitted being the getaway driver in the slaying.

Cortes, testifying at alleged triggerman Love's capital murder trial, said she and Love were hired to kill dentist Kendra Hatcher by the slaying's mastermind, Brenda Delgado. Hatcher was dating Delgado's ex-boyfriend, Richard Paniagua, at the time.

Hatcher was fatally shot in her Dallas apartment parking garage in September 2015, a murder that rocked the Dallas community.

From left: Brenda Delgado is accused of recruiting Crystal Cortes and Kristopher Love to help her kill Kendra Hatcher, who was dating Delgado's ex-boyfriend.

From left: Brenda Delgado is accused of recruiting Crystal Cortes and Kristopher Love to help her kill Kendra Hatcher, who was dating Delgado's ex-boyfriend. (Dallas County Jail)

Paniagua, who testified Tuesday he and Delgado remained “platonic friends” after they broke up in February 2015, said he met Hatcher in May 2015 and their relationship soon became serious. They planned to leave Sept. 3, 2015, for a vacation in Mexico.

But Hatcher was killed the night before they were set to leave. Paniagua said he was waiting in Hatcher's apartment when she was killed and he learned of her death from one of the apartment building’s lobby employees, the Dallas News reported.

“She hated her. She didn’t want anything to do with her,” Cortes said of Delgado, according to FOX4 News. “She knew where she lived. She wanted to do away with Kendra.”

Cortes was originally charged with capital murder. She pleaded guilty last week to a reduced charge of murder in exchange for her testimony against Delgado and Love. She is expected to receive a 35-year prison sentence.

The 26-year-old told jurors she helped find the murder weapon and took turns following Hatcher from her apartment to work for more than two weeks to figure out her daily routine. She was paid $500 to act as the getaway driver.

“It was planned to be a murder and to look like a robbery gone bad,” Cortes said, adding the group considered several ways to kill Hatcher, including using a syringe or a baseball bat.

She said it was Love who said shooting Hatcher would be the easiest, the Dallas News reported.

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The day of the murder, Love was hiding in the back of the Jeep that Cortes drove into Hatcher’s parking garage. When they spotted Hatcher entering, Love jumped out.

“He exits the vehicle and then I hear Kendra scream, ‘Help, help. Help me!’ And then I heard the shot fired,” Cortes testified. “And I back up out of the parking space that I was in, and he enters the vehicle.”

Cortes was seen on surveillance footage from the parking garage.

During her testimony Tuesday, Cortes admitted to lying and changing her story several times when she was initially questioned by police. She said she decided to tell the truth after her mother died last November.

Testimony against Love is set to continue Wednesday. Delgado, who fled to Mexico after she was questioned by police and extradited back to the U.S. in 2016, was also charged with capital murder. Her trial has not been scheduled.