35-year-old dentist Kendra Hatch was shot and killed in the parking lot of her upmarket Dallas apt on Sept 2, 2015 by Kristopher Love
Prosecutors said the hit was ordered by a jealous woman because she had started dating her ex-boyfriend Ricardo Paniagua
Kristopher Love, 34, found guilty of shooting dead Kendra Hatcher in Dallas after he was hired by Paniagua’s vengeful ex, Brenda Delgado, after she began dating Ricardo Paniagua
Paniagua’s jealous ex Brenda Delgado allegedly hired Love to carry out murder
Prosecutors want the death penalty for Love, with hearings to begin Monday
Hitman Kristopher Love,[left] has been found guilty of capital murder for shooting Kendra Hatcher [right], in Dallas in 2015. He is facing the prospect of becoming the first man sent to death row from Dallas county in five years.
A hired assassin in Texas has been found guilty of killing a dentist outside her apartment as part of a plot allegedly put together by her boyfriend’s jealous ex.
Kristopher Love, 34, was found guilty of capital murder in a Dallas courtroom on Thursday for shooting pediatric dentist Kendra Hatcher, 35, in the head on September 2, 2015 in the parking lot of her luxury apartment building in Dallas.
Jurors heard how Love was recruited for the killing, allegedly by 36-year-old Brenda Delgado who wanted revenge after Hatcher began dating her ex Ricardo Paniagua.
The trial began on Monday with closing statements read on Thursday before jurors were sent out for deliberations, The Dallas Morning News reports.
They took just three hours to return a guilty verdict for Love and prosecutors say they will now seek the death penalty.
Paniagua told the court that their relationship progressed quickly and the pair had set up a wedding fund by August that year and were scheduled to leave town for a vacation in Mexico on Sept. 3, 2015.
That convinced Delgado that she had to kill her love rival, prosecutors argued. Paniagua remained stoic throughout much of the trial but wiped tears from his eyes after jurors left the courtroom to deliberate.
Cortes, 26, was originally charged with capital murder, like Love and Delgado. Eventually, she pled guilty to a reduced charge of murder last week and expects to receive 35 years in prison in exchange for her testimony against Love and later against Delgado.
Defense attorney Paul Johnson said Cortes was actually to blame for Hatcher’s slaying and told jurors they shouldn’t trust her testimony. He said Cortes changed her story several times over the past three years.
Evidence showed that Delgado shopped around for someone to kill Hatcher, before settling on the team of Love and her friend Crystal Cortes, who was to act as the driver.
Jurors heard how Cortes was given $500 while Love was paid in ‘drugs and money’ for the hit.
The pair went to confront Hatcher at her apartment on September 2, 2015, the day before she was supposed to leave for a romantic getaway in Mexico with Paniagua.
Lawyers said Love walked up to Hatcher and shot her in the head with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson which was later found stashed in his car.
Paniagua was waiting inside the apartment as hit was executed.
During the trial, lawyers for Love tried to argue that he had only robbed Hatcher of her purse and that Cortes had been the one to pull the trigger.
But jurors swept that argument aside and found him guilty of murder.
Hatch’s mom Bonnie Jameson, sobs on the stand in a Dallas court, during the capital murder trial of Kristopher Love, the hired gunman accused of killing her daughter
Delgado fled to Mexico after the killing but was caught and returned to Texas, where she now faces trial for capital murder. Cortes as part of her plea agreement has agreed to testify against Love and Delgado.
Hatcher’s mother, Bonnie Jamseon, cried in court after the verdict was read and hugged the Dallas homicide detective who investigated her daughter’s death.
Delgado had fled to Mexico after the murder. A trial date has not been set for Delgado, but she will not be eligible for the death penalty as part of the extradition agreement with Mexico.