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Watch: Crystal Cortes to Be Sentenced in Murder of Kendra Hatcher


Texas woman Brenda Delgado was convicted Friday for capital murder, and the court immediately moved onto the sentencing hearing. She was sentenced to life in prison. Prosecutors said the defendant became obsessed with her ex-boyfriend Ricardo Paniagua, so she hired a man named Kristopher Love to kill Paniagua’s new girlfriend, dentist Kendra Hatcher.

Now co-defendant Crystal Cortes, who testified against Delgado and Love at their trials, is going to be sentenced. She received a plea deal to serve 35 years in prison.

Love was convicted and sentenced to death last year.

Paniagua, a dermatologist, testified at the trials. He said that he dated Delgado from Fall 2012 to Summer 2014, broke up, and started up again briefly from November 2014 to February 2015. According to him, they remained friendly and occasionally texted one another.

Meanwhile, he moved on with his life. He met Hatcher through an online dating website, according to his testimony. Things grew serious fast. Allegedly, it was too fast for his ex-girlfriend. Cortes testified that Delgado recruited her and Love to end Hatcher’s live. She told jurors that Delgado was possessive and clingy, angry that Paniagua was dating Hatcher, and wanted him back.

Prosecutors said that Delago started stalking her ex online and in person, pretending to incidentally be at the same places he was at.

Love carried out the murder on Sept. 2, 2015, killing Hatcher after she pulled into the parking lot of her apartment complex. Cortes admitted to being the getaway driver.

Delgado allegedly fled to Mexico, but was arrested there. Under the conditions of her extradition, she only faced a life sentence.

Correction and Update – June 7, 2019, 2:01 p.m.: The original version of this article specifically covered the Delgado trial, and incorrectly stated that Cortes was already sentenced to prison. The article has also been updated to reflect the conviction and sentencing of Delgado on June 7, and the Cortes sentencing that same day.

[Screengrab of Cortes via Law&Crime Network]

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