DALLAS - Detectives on Wednesday testified about finding a crucial piece of evidence in the case of a murdered Dallas dentist.
Dr. Kendra Hatcher was killed in a murder-for-hire plot that was carried out in the parking garage of her Uptown Dallas apartment in 2015.
Kristopher Love is currently on trial and accused of being the gunman.
In court Wednesday, jurors listened to the first interviews Love had with police.
Homicide detectives spent 20 hours interviewing Love in October 2015, one month after Hatcher was murdered. Through most of it, he denied riding in a black Jeep, owning a gun or knowing Crystal Cortes, the accused getaway driver.
Love also initially denied knowing Brenda Delgado, the alleged mastermind of the murder.
“I had nothing to do with it,” he said. “On my kid’s life, I just know that.”
About 12 hours into the interview, Love changed his story when Detective Eric Barnes told him investigators found a 40 caliber handgun hidden in the center console of his car.
“When he immediately told me that he purchased it from Crystal, he gave me a timeframe after the offense that occurred,” Barnes said.
Love then told the detectives that he only stole Dr. Hatcher’s purse, claiming it was Cortes who shot and killed her. He even demonstrated his version of events for Detective Barnes.
“I didn’t kill nobody,” Love claimed. “I kept…. I am in possession of that gun.”
About 15 hours into the interview, Love then asked a telling question.
“As I’m walking out of the room, he asked me why did we let Brenda go,” Barnes recalled.
Again, Love had previously denied knowing Brenda Delgado, who fled to Mexico after she was released by police.
“I had a good idea that this was a love triangle that went bad. It was a jilted lover scenario,” Barnes said. “But there was no evidence at a time that I could justify putting her in jail.”
Prosecutors also showed video from inside the Uptown garage showing only one person getting out of the Jeep before Hatcher's murder. It contradicted Love's claim that both he and Cortes were outside the vehicle. Finally, Prosecutors played a recorded jailhouse phone call Love had with his girlfriend discussing the crime.
“If you shot that girl with the gun, you should’ve thrown it away or something,” Love’s girlfriend told him during the phone call.
“Yeah, I know,” Love replied.
A detective on the case talked about finding the weapon used to kill Hatcher.
“Celebrated. I mean, high fives. We were ecstatic. I told the crime scene guy. We’re taking pictures. I called Eric. ‘We found the gun.’ We then had the crime scene guy take the gun, take pictures of the gun. It was something that I did not expect,” said Det. Scott Sayers with the Dallas Police Department.
Investigators said a police K-9 found the weapon in the center console of Love’s personal vehicle.
Love is facing the death penalty if convicted.
Delgado and Cortes are also charged with capital murder. Cortes accepted a plea deal and testified against Love on Tuesday. Delgado is still awaiting trial. She is not facing the death penalty.