Judge Issues Gag Order in Dixon Capital Murder Case

- LUBBOCK -- State District Judge Jim Bob Darnell in Lubbock issued a gag order in the capital murder case of Thomas Dixon, 50, of Amarillo. Dixon is charged in the murder-for-hire plot that took the life of Dr. Joseph Sonnier of Lubbock. Sonnier was the Chief Pathologist for Covenant Health System – well known and well respected in the community. He was found shot and stabbed to death in his home. 

In his order, file stamped Wednesday at 11:27 am, Darnell wrote, “It has been brought to my attention this case attracted news coverage nationally around the time the Defendant was arrested in July 2012.”

Darnell’s order continued, “Due to this information, the Court orders that those persons involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case to refrain from further communication with all news media… regarding this case or the defendants.”

Dixon is held in the Lubbock County Detention Center in lieu of a $10,000,000 bond. The Criminal District Attorney for Lubbock County, Matt Powell, said in November 2013 his office would seek the death penalty. 

Dixon’s trial is scheduled for the fall of 2014.

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