Brenda Delgado, the woman who allegedly masterminded the murder-for-hire plot on prominent Dallas dentist Dr. Kendra Hatcher, was extradited from Mexico on Thursday, after spending nearly six months in a Mexican prison.
New York magazine reports that Delgado, 33, reportedly plotted to murder Hatcher after she began dating Delgado’s former boyfriend, dermatologist Ricardo Paniagua. She allegedly hired two people to carry out the killing, one to shoot Hatcher and another to drive the getaway car.
Once the murder was carried out, Delgado fled the country shortly after being questioned by detectives. She was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, and although she was captured months ago and held at the Santa Martha Acatitla prison in Mexico City, she was just recently extradited back to the U.S. after negotiation with prosecutors.
Delgado had been dating Paniagua for around two years when he decided to break off the relationship. When he began seeing Hatcher, a pediatric dentist, Delgado was extremely jealous, although she later said she’s “not the jealous type.”
The murder-for-hire plot apparently began in August 2015, after Delgado learned that Paniagua took Hatcher to San Diego to meet his parents. Delgado allegedly lured in Kristopher Love, 31, of Dallas, to kill Hatcher. She promised him money and drugs.
On September 2, 2015, Love reportedly followed Hatcher to her upscale apartment complex in Uptown Dallas. Hatcher didn’t make it past the parking garage before she was fatally shot. Crystal Cortez, 23, of Dallas, was allegedly given $500 to act as the getaway driver. She reportedly took Love to Hatcher’s apartment garage and drove away with him in a black Jeep Cherokee after he shot the dentist execution style.
Just days after the murder, police arrested Cortes and charged her with capital murder. Court documents indicate that Cortes “admitted her involvement in the murder and has given detectives information that other unidentified suspects may have been involved.”
According to Dallas Police Maj. Max Geron, Love was arrested on October 2. He still had the murder weapon in his possession when apprehended. According to Love’s arrest warrant affidavit, he admitted to robbing Hatcher.
On October 7, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued an “unlawful flight to avoid prosecution” federal arrest warrant for Delgado. She was extradited back the U.S. on the condition that prosecutors agreed to not seek the death penalty against her.
CBS reports that Delgado’s lawyer, George R. Milner, said that Delgado fled to Mexico because she didn’t have the financial means at the time to retain an attorney and prepare a defense. He also indicated that there’s another side to the story that the public isn’t aware of, which is why authorities allowed Delgado to leave last year after questioning her.
“The truth is, she realized she is facing a potential death sentence in a country that is not her home country, and she did not have a lawyer and didn’t have means to defend herself, so she went to her home country….They did not let her walk out of police custody unless they believed she was totally innocent. They never put any surveillance on her, so she’s got a case.”
Milner said that after Delgado’s family saved up enough money for her to retain an attorney, she voluntarily turned herself in.
“Why would she then immediately say on moment’s notice, I’ll come back?”
On Thursday, a Dallas judge set Brenda Delgado’s bond at $1 million. She faces a felony capital murder charge and a a felony unlawful flight to avoid prosecution charge.
[Featured Photo by the Dallas Police Department]