Dallas hitman sentenced to death in murder-for-hire plot

- The gunman who fatally shot a Dallas dentist in a murder-for-hire plot has been sentenced to death by lethal injection.

Prosecutors worked to convince the jury that Kristopher Love will be a danger to the community even in prison. He faces the death penalty for killing Dr. Kendra Hatcher in a 2015 murder-for-hire plot.

Jurors deliberated for three hours before handing down the death sentence. Love showed no emotion when the verdict was read.

In court Tuesday, defense attorneys called detention officers and Love’s relatives to testify as character witnesses. They said he has been respectful and well-behaved in prison since his arrest. His mother said while in prison, he has followed the rules and even got his GED.

Prosecutors described Hatcher as a beacon of light that illuminated others and then told jurors how troubling it was to think that Love’s face was the last thing she saw before he murdered her.

Hatcher’s family thanked the jury then spoke directly to Love.

"You didn't shoot her. You executed my daughter for absolutely no reason in the world," said Bonnie Jameson, Hatcher's mom. "Your life, I pray someday soon, will end one way or another. And if you received the ultimate, your life - Mr. Executioner - will end peacefully, unlike my daughter's."

“So many nights I’ve laid awake in my bed and thought of my little sister and her last moments on this Earth,” said Ashley Turner, Hatcher’s sister. “$500 and drugs?! Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?!”

Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said she was elated by the jury’s verdict and contradicted the prosecution team got their hard work. Prosecutors say they’ll now turn their attention to Brenda Delgado, the alleged mastermind of Hatcher’s murder.

The former girlfriend, Brenda Delgado, awaits trial on a capital murder charge. A third person, the suspected getaway driver, also is being held on a capital murder charge.

Related: Convicted killer rushed out of courtroom after outburst in dentist murder trial

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