A man who was arrested in July in connection with what authorities have described as a murder-for-hire plot that left a prominent Austin jeweler dead now faces a charge of capital murder.
Johnny Leon was also indicted on a charge of burglary of a habitation in connection with the death of Theodore “Ted” Shaughnessy, the owner of Gallerie Jewelers. He was arrested in College Station this summer on a charge of criminal solicitation of capital murder.
Shaughnessy’s son, Nicolas, and Nicolas’ wife, Jaclyn Edison, also have been charged with solicitation to commit capital murder in the case. Nicolas was indicted in mid-August on a charge of capital murder. As of Monday, Edison had not been indicted.
A formal indictment filed in Travis County District Court on Monday said Leon shot Ted Shaughnessy on March 2 “for remuneration or the promise of remuneration from Nicolas Shaughnessy.”
Ted Shaughnessy died in the early hours of March 2 after he was roused from sleep by his barking dogs, according to court documents.
Shaughnessy got out of bed and grabbed a gun to investigate, leaving his wife, Corey, in the bedroom.
As Shaughnessy moved through the house, he was met with gunfire in the kitchen, the documents say.
The shooter then fired at Corey in the bedroom but missed. She returned fire, then made for the closet, where she called 911 and waited for authorities to arrive, the documents say.
When they did, Ted was lying dead in a pool of blood.
Nicolas and Edison would arrive hours later to give statements to authorities.
A search warrant obtained by investigators detailed financial hardships Nicolas Shaughnessy had been facing ahead of his father’s death.
Detectives found a text message on Edison’s phone that she had sent to a friend with a screenshot of her bank account that showed balances of $1.92 in her own account and $1.65 in her and Nicolas’ joint account.
“Only u know I’m broke,” the message said, according to the warrant.
Court documents said Nicolas, 19, stood to receive about $2 million upon the death of his parents.
Detectives searched Nicolas and Edison’s home in College Station and found evidence that he had approached several people to ask if they were interested in being paid to kill someone, an affidavit says. The couple appeared to discuss costs in messages sent in February.
Court documents say one woman told authorities Nicolas had sent her a message on social media that said he would pay $20,000 a head plus a $15,000 incentive. The message ended with three skeleton emoji.
Court documents say Nicolas had searched for high-dollar vehicles and other accessories between the time of his father’s death and his arrest.