A grand jury on Wednesday indicted a 19-year-old who Travis County investigators have accused of planning to kill his father on a charge of capital murder, court records show.
A two-page indictment says Nicolas Shaughnessy “knowingly caused the death of an individual” by hiring 21-year-old Johnny Roman Leon III of College Station to kill Ted Shaughnessy. Authorities arrested Leon in July.
Ted Shaughnessy, owner of Gallerie Jewelers in Austin, was shot to death in his southwestern Travis County home on March 2, Travis County sheriff’s investigators have said. His wife was at the house at the time of the home invasion and survived.
Under Texas law, a defendant can be charged with capital murder if he pays someone else to commit murder.
Authorities had charged Nicolas Shaughnessy with solicitation to commit capital murder in his father’s death. However, prosecutors opted to only present a capital murder charge against him.
Travis County sheriff’s investigators have said that Shaughnessy, a 19-year-old Austin High School graduate, tried to have his parents killed because he thought he would receive up to $8 million in life insurance and business and personal property. Court records say investigators found numerous incriminating messages in which he appeared to be arranging the crime in the weeks before his father’s death.
Shaughnessy remains in Travis County Jail with bail set at $3 million.
The grand jury did not take action on a pending case against Shaughnessy’s wife, Jaclyn Edison. She is accused of participating in the plot and is also charged with solicitation to commit capital murder. Since her arrest, Edison has provided information to authorities that they say helped further their investigation.
Law enforcement officials agreed to reduce her bond in July, and she has since been released from jail awaiting further action on the case against her.
Gallerie Jewelers appears to have been permanently closed, online searches show. The store, at the 3500 block of Jefferson Street, has been emptied out.