DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A mother's tears mark day one of testimony in a murder for hire plot that left a Dallas dentist dead.
Prosecutors say Dr. Kendra Hatcher's new boyfriend had an obsessive ex, Brenda Delgado. She is accused of hiring the gunman, Kristopher Love. Love is facing the death penalty is convicted. But, before prosecutors laid out how the crime was committed.
Prosecutor Kevin Brooks made certain that jurors remained focused on who was lost.
"I've always said in the past that I have children who wore halos on their heads," said Dr. Hatcher's mother, Bonnie Jameson. But, clearly Jameson's heart was broken in September of 2015, when Hatcher earned her wings, too soon.
Jurors wiped away tears along with Jameson as she talked about how she learned that her daughter, the pediatric dentist, was killed.
"No, no, not Kendra!" she recalled for jurors. "What do you mean she's shot? And Jamie said, 'she didn't make it.' " Jameson told jurors that the family was "devastated" by the loss, also sharing that Hatcher had planned to bring her new love interest home to the Plains, Illinois, area to meet the family later that fall. Fall, she told jurors, was her daughter's favorite time of year. But, her new love interest's ex, had different ideas: all of them evil.
"She wanted me to beat her to death with a bat," testified a cousin Moses Martinez. Martinez told jurors that he tried to warn family members that Delgado was trying to have her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend killed but, he wasn't believed.
Prosecutor Kevin Brooks told jurors that after shopping around for a killer, Delgado struck a deal with Kristopher Love, agreeing to pay him in cash and drugs for eliminating the stranger that she viewed as a rival.
Jurors also heard from Dr. Ricardo Paniagua, Hatcher's new love interest who was waiting in her apartment while she was being ambushed in the parking garage below. Dr. Paniagua told jurors that he had noticed Delgado "popping up" as places where he was jogging or having dinner, but dismissed the incidents as "coincidence", not realizing that Delgado was dangerous, until it was too late.
"I kept asking repeatedly, 'is Kendra okay? I became even more specific, I said: is she still alive?' " recalled Dr. Paniagua when bracing for the explanation of why Hatcher wasn't responding to his texts.
Love is facing the death penalty if convicted. Delgado is slated to go on trial next year; but, will not face the death penalty because of an extradition arrangement with Mexico.
Testimony resumes Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. in the 363rd District Court before Judge Tracy Holmes.
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