Brenda Delgado hired two accomplices to kill Kendra Hatcher, her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend, on September 2, 2015, investigators said. Delgado, a dental hygenist student, and her boyfriend Dr. Ricardo “Ricky” Paniagua, had broken up earlier in 2015 and Paniagua told Delgado a few months later that he’d started a new relationship, Texas Monthly reported.
Delgado then orchestrated the execution-style killing of Paniagua’s new girlfriend, Hatcher, and recruited Kristopher Love and Crystal Cortes to carry out her plan, according to NBC News. Delgado told Love that she had cartel connections, an unsubstantiated claim, and said she would give him a mix of drugs and money to kill Hatcher. Cortes, who was offered $500, was the getaway driver.
Love and Cortes followed Hatcher into her apartment building’s parking garage, where Love walked up to the dentist as she was getting out of her car and shot her in the head, according to Texas Monthly.
After the murder was committed, Delgado fled the U.S. for Mexico where she lived for months until her arrest and extradition back to Dallas on October 6, 2016, according to the FBI. Where is Brenda Delgado today? Is she in prison?
Delgado Was Sentenced to Life in Prison Without the Possibility of Parole After Being Found Guilty of Capital Murder
Delgado’s trial took place in June 2019 and she was found guilty of capital murder for her role in Hatcher’s shooting death. The jury deliberations only took 18 minutes before coming back with a conviction, WFAA reported. She was automatically sentenced to life with no possibility of parole. According to her inmate record with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the 38-year-old was sentenced on June 7, 2019, for the offense “capital murder by terror threat.”
Delgado is serving her sentence at the William P. Hobby Unit, “Hobby,” a women’s prison in Marlin, Falls County. After the trial, Delgado’s attorney stated that they would be appealing the verdict, Dallas News reported. It’s unclear if the appeal has already been filed. Heavy reached out to Delgado’s attorney for more information but did not hear back in time for publication.
The death sentence was not an option in Delgado’s case, unlike Love, who pulled the trigger to murder Hatcher and is now on death row. Since Delgado fled to Mexico, where she also holds citizenship, after her arrest the Mexican authorities agreed to extradite her to the U.S. under the condition that she would not be facing the death penalty, Texas Monthly reported.
Delgado’s Two Accomplices Were Also Convicted of Capital Murder in the Shooting Death of Hatcher
Delgado hired Cortes and Love to carry out her plan and both are also serving time for the crime. Cortes agreed to a plea deal in October 2017 which saw her testify against Delgado and Love in exchange for a guilty plea to murder, NBC reported. She was sentenced to 35 years and will be eligible for parole halfway through her sentence. Cortes, 26, is serving her 35-year sentence at the Christina Melton Crain facility, with a parole eligibility date of 2033, her inmate record shows.
Love, 36, was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death by lethal injection on October 31, 2018. He is now on death row in Texas’ Allan B. Polunsky facility, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.