AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas teen and his girlfriend have been charged with hiring a hit man to kill his jewelry dealer father during a home invasion in March, police said.
Nicholas Shaughnessy, 19, and his live-in gal pal, Jaclyn Edison, 19, have been charged with criminal solicitation to commit capital murder. He is being held on $3 million bond, while she was held on $1 million bond.
According to the Travis County Sheriff’s office, Nicholas’ mother, Corey Shaughnessy called police in the early morning hours of March 2 to report that an intruder had entered their home in Austin and that numerous shots had been fired.
When cops arrived, they found her husband, Theodore Shaughnessy, 55, and a family dog dead of multiple gunshot wounds. Investigators later determined that the plot involved Corey being killed as well, but she was not harmed during the break-in.
A statement from the family’s lawyers said Corey stood “firmly behind her son.”
“These allegations are not consistent in any way with the young man we have come to know,” the statement read, according to the Austin Statesman. “Nick has been living with his mother since this tragedy occurred. Ms. Shaughnessy stands firmly behind her son. We will review the evidence as it becomes available to us.”
The gunman has yet to be found, but cops said they were following numerous new leads and expect to identify and apprehend the killer soon.
Theodore Shaughnessy was the owner of Gallerie Jewelers in Austin. In the months before the shooting, investigators say Nicolas Shaughnessy approached multiple people asking if they were willing to kill someone for cash. The teen estimated that he stood to inherit about $8 million from the life insurance policies for his parents, plus the sale of their home and the jewelry store.
Authorities say they found ammunition in the defendants’ home in College Station that matched casings found at the crime scene.