Two days before Austin jeweler Ted Shaughnessy was shot dead in his southwestern Travis County home, three men, including his son, were discussing a plan to kill him and his wife, court documents released Wednesday say.
Travis County sheriff’s investigators arrested Johnny Roman Leon III, 21, in College Station on Wednesday, making him the third person charged in connection with what authorities described as a murder-for-hire plot.
Leon faces charges of criminal solicitation of capital murder, a first-degree felony, according to court documents.
Investigators say in the documents that Leon and Shaughnessy’s 19-year-old son, Nicolas, approached a man on Feb. 28 and offered him $10,000 if he helped kill Shaughnessy and his wife, Corey.
Nicolas Shaughnessy and his 19-year-old wife, Jaclyn Edison, also face charges of criminal solicitation of capital murder.
Corey Shaughnessy, had told investigators on March 2 that she found her husband had been shot multiple times in their home in the 9900 block of Oliver Drive.
A source told investigators that two days earlier, Leon and Nicolas were scoping out the Shaughnessy home in Austin, court documents say.
The source told investigators Nicolas had wanted to kill his parents on the Feb. 28 trip, the documents say, and that Nicolas met someone at a club who had agreed to kill his parents.
The pair returned to College Station later that day and explained to another man, who has not been identified, that they would leave town around 1 a.m. or 2 a.m., drive to Austin, be there for 30 minutes and then immediately drive back, court documents say.
“At first, Nick and Johnny would not tell the source what they actually wanted him to do, but they eventually told him they needed two people to kill two people, by shooting them and possibly shooting some dogs, if needed,” an affidavit states.
Leon would use his pistol and have access to a gun located in a desk drawer inside the Shaughnessy home during the attack, court documents say.
Nicolas and Leon assured the third man the Shaughnessy house was in a secluded area where no neighbors would be able to hear gunshots, court documents say.
The third man would leave his phone at home during the quick trip to Austin to throw off investigators, court documents say.
Around 4 a.m. on March 2, Corey and Ted Shaughnessy were woken up by their dogs barking. Ted left the couple’s bedroom to check it out and was met with gunfire. Corey told authorities she grabbed her .357 revolver, shot back at an unknown intruder and then hid in the closet, where she called 911.
Once it was safe to exit the closet, Corey found Ted in the kitchen in a pool of blood, court documents say.
Corey Shaughnessy has defended her son since his arrest in May.
“These allegations are not consistent in any way with the young man we have come to know,” the Shaughnessy family’s attorneys Perry Minton and Rick Flores said at the time of the arrest.
“Nick has been living with his mother since this tragedy occurred,” the lawyers said. “We will review the evidence as it becomes available to us.”
In July, Corey met with investigators and continued to stand by Nicolas, who remains in the Travis County Jail with bail set at $3 million.
Edison was briefly jailed before being released on bond last month.
Law enforcement sources told the American-Statesman in June that Edison had been helping investigators answer the remaining questions surrounding Ted Shaughnessy’s death.
CORRECTION: This story is updated from an earlier version that incorrectly identified Johnny Leon as a suspected gunman in the shooting death of Ted Shaughnessy. He is charged with solicitation of capital murder.