Four months after a Texas jeweler was shot to death in a murder-for-hire plot allegedly orchestrated by the man’s teenaged son and his wife, police have arrested the man they say pulled the trigger.
Johnny Roman Leon, III, 21, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with killing Austin jeweler Ted Shaughnessy, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “We do think this is the shooter,” Travis County Sheriff’s spokesperson Kristen Dark told the newspaper.
As previously reported by Oxygen.com, Shaughnessy, 55, owner of a well-known Austin jewelry store, was shot to death on March 2 by an intruder who broke into his home. His wife, Corey, armed herself with the family .357 magnum handgun and returned fire, but the shooter escaped.
Cops arrested Shaughnessy’s son, Nicolas, 19, and his wife, Jaclyn Alexa Edison, also 19, in May and charged them with hiring the killer.
“Shaughnessy and Edison are alleged to have conspired together and hired someone to murder Shaughnessy’s parents, Theodore and Corey Shaughnessy,” the Travis County Sheriff’s Department said in a May news release.
That person, police now say, was Leon. Together, they also may have tried to enlist a fourth person in the murder plot.
According to court documents obtained by the Austin American-Statesman, Nicolas Shaughnessy and Leon approached a man in February and offered him $10,000 to help kill Shaughnessy's parents, Ted and Corey Shaughnessy. That fourth person was allegedly told "they needed two people to kill two people, by shooting them and possibly shooting some dogs."
Police have not named who this fourth person was, and whether he or she will face charges.
Police believe the motive for Ted Shaughnessy’s murder was money.
An informant told police that Nicolas Shaughnessy said he was set to get $2 million from life insurance and another $8 million from the estate, and offered $10,000 per month for murdering his parents, according to Nicolas Shaughnessy’s arrest warrant.
The teen's lawyers, Perry Minton and Rick Flores, said in a statement issued in May that the charges “are not consistent in any way with the young man we have come to know. Nick has been living with his mother since this tragedy occurred. Ms. Shaughnessy stands firmly behind her son,”
Nicolas Shaughnessy is being held on $3 million bond, while Edison is being held on $1 million bond. Leon is now being held on $3 million bond.
[Photo: Tarrant County Sheriff]