A Dallas jury deliberated for under 20 minutes Friday before finding Brenda Delgado guilty of capital murder in the muder-for-hire plot that killed 35-year-old Dallas dentist Kendra Hatcher in September 2015.
Delgado was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The death penalty was taken off the table because of an extradition agreement with Mexico.
“If justice could have handed you a death sentence, make no mistake, I would have been there front and center,” said Hatcher’s mother, Bonnie Jameson.
After Judge Tracey Holmes read Delgado the verdict, Jameson took to the witness stand to deliver her a message to the woman who orchestrated her daughter’s death.
She thanked the jury for delivering justice and thanked the jury’s family, adding, “Tell them that you love them every day
Hatcher’s sister, Ashley Turner, also addressed Delgado.
“No matter how envoius you were of any human being, it does not give you the right to destroy lives,” Turner said. “Brenda, you are disgusting. I hope you rot in hell.”
Crystal Cortes, who admitted to taking money to drive the getaway car in Hatcher’s murder, was sentenced to 35 years in prison Friday. Cortes pleaded guilty in October 2017 to a murder charge in a deal to that included her testimony against Delgado and the triggerman, Kristopher Love. Love was sentenced to death in the case last year. Cortes will be eligible for parole after serving half of her sentence.
Before handing the jury the case Friday, the defense called their only witness, a cell phone expert, who testified about use of mobile devices by the defendant and her accused accomplices. At approximately 1:40 p.m., the defense rested its case. They do not intend to call Delgado to testify.
Prosecutors called their last witnesses Thursday morning, including a medical examiner and a homicide detective, before resting the state’s case against Delgado
Dallas police detective Eric Barnes walked the jury through the remainder of the approximately two hour long video interrogation Delgado voluntarily agreed to on September 4, 2015.
“I understand to want something that you can’t have,” Barnes told Delgado.
Barnes testified his strategy initially was to try and connect with her emotionally as a woman who was still in love with her ex-boyfriend Ricardo Paniagua.
“I think you hated it that you weren’t good enough,” he told her.
“No,” she responded.
“That’s the truth,” he said. “And sometimes the truth hurts. You were not good enough for Ricky.”
Hate, he accused Delgado, drove her to plan the murder of Paniagua’s new love: Kendra Hatcher.
At one point the detective is seen leaving the room.
Delgado then begins applying makeup.
Words escalate when Delgado repeatedly claims she didn’t even know who her ex-boyfriend was dating.
“I have no motive,” she said. “I have no reason.”
“There’s plenty of motive,” responded Barnes. “There’s plenty of motive. You cannot have him as long as she’s alive.”
“No, that’s not true,” she responded.
Delgado repeatedly blames Crystal Cortes for whatever happened that evening.
In court Wednesday morning, prosecutors began tying up their case against Delgado.
Two analysts who work for the Dallas Police Department took the stand and testified about phone records of Delgado and two other people involved in the murder-for-hire plot — Kristopher Love, the man who was convicted of shooting and killing Hatcher and Crystal Cortes, who admits to being the getaway car driver.
Prosecutors used the testimony to map out the number of times the three of them called and texted each other the day of the murder, as well as the days leading up to it.
Authorities say the three of them followed Hatcher in the weeks leading up to her death.
Detectives mapped out the locations of their phones during that same time period, showing their movements between Love’s apartment, Hatcher’s office and apartment, and a restaurant in Carrollton where Delgado was when the murder occurred.
Wednesday, jurors heard testimony that Delgado did place a call to Cortes from that restaurant right around the time of the murder.
Another police officer testified his K9 made a “career find” sniffing out the gun police say was used in Hatcher’s murder, it was found inside Love’s ashtray.
Delgado and her defense team maintain that she never ordered Love and Cortes to kill Hatcher.
During the first day of the trial, Jameson, along with the paramedic and Dallas police officer that initially responded to the scene of the murder, took the stand. Jurors watched body camera footage from Dallas Police Officer Michael Walsh.
Delgado faces life in prison if convicted. She is not eligible for the death penalty due to an extradition agreement with Mexico, where she was found hiding out after Hatcher was killed in an Uptown parking garage Sept. 2, 2015