After less than three hours of deliberation Thursday afternoon, a Dallas County jury convicted Kristopher Love, 34, for the 2015 murder of Dallas dentist Kendra Hatcher.
Prosecutors in the case successfully argued that Love took drugs and cash from Brenda Delgado in exchange for shooting Hatcher in the head as she walked through the parking garage of her Uptown apartment complex on Sept. 2, 2015. Love's attorneys said that Love merely robbed Hatcher and that the accused getaway driver in the case fired the shots that killed her.
Love faces a possible death sentence. The penalty portion of his trial is set to begin Monday.
Soon after Hatcher's death, police began investigating whether Delgado had hired someone to kill the dentist. She'd previously dated Hatcher's boyfriend, Ricardo Paniagua, and was jealous of his and Hatcher's relationship, according to police.
Delgado's rage, according to police documents, boiled over when she learned that her ex-boyfriend had taken Hatcher to meet his parents in San Francisco, something he'd not done with Delgado. She lent alleged getaway driver Crystal Cortes a Jeep, police say, and Cortes drove Love to Hatcher's garage, where he shot Hatcher and stole her purse. Cortes has told police that she didn't know Delgado wanted Hatcher dead.
Earlier this month, Cortes agreed to testify against Love and Delgado in exchange for a 35-year sentence. At trial, she said that she, Love and Delgado took turns following Hatcher for two weeks before the murders, according to reporters in the courtroom.
The team prosecuting Love argued that detail showed Cortes' version of events lined up with what actually happened.
"Do you really need to follow someone every day to snatch a purse?" Dallas County prosecutor Kevin Brooks said during closing arguments. "The story makes no sense. She's dead for a really stupid and disgusting reason, and that man participated."
In the months following the murder, Delgado, whose trial date has not been set, fled to Mexico. Mexican authorities eventually extradited her back to the United States in October 2016. As a result of the extradition treaty between the countries, she will not face the death penalty when she goes on trial. If the jury sends Love to death row, he will become the first new death row inmate from Dallas County since 2013.
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