Police say a 19-year-old son hired a hitman to kill his father, a well-known jeweler in Austin who was shot to death in March. Police also say his wife was allegedly part of the plot. They are recent graduates of Austin High School and are now in jail.
Nicolas Shaughnessy and Jaclyn Edison, also 19 years old, were arrested Tuesday. They are each facing one charge of soliciting to commit capital murder.
Shaughnessy and his wife Jaclyn Edison are accused of conspiring together. Police say they hired a hitman to kill Shaughnessy's parents. The crime was carried out on March 2 when Nicolas' father Theodore, also known as Ted, was shot to death during what was initially thought to be a home invasion. Nicolas' mother survived the attack.
Michelle Acosta says she has worked next door to Gallerie Jewelers for six years, where Ted was the owner.
"I mean, I couldn't believe it. You know, whenever I would see them...I only met Ted, I didn't meet his son and his wife but I would see them coming, going. They always seemed like they were, father and son talking and laughing, you know, walking with the dogs. It just seemed like a normal happy family, you know. So to hear that, yea, I was in shock," says Acosta.
Ted was the owner, up until his death and then that's when his son took over. The announcement was made on a Facebook post:
"Gallerie Jewelers will remain open! we will be back to normal hours starting on Tuesday, May 1st. We are happy to announce that Nicolas, Ted's son, will be carrying on his legacy here at Gallerie."
"I know that he came in and he had invited us to come in and take a look, seemed friendly," says Acosta.
Following Tuesday's arrest, they have temporarily closed. It's been nearly three months since the murder and since then, detectives have been uncovering key details. Nicolas and Jaclyn had been living in College Station together.
Police spoke with an employee at the complex who says Nicolas contacted her on social media asking if she was ever looking to make extra cash, to let him know. She asked what he meant and according to court documents his response was: "Illegal activities." When asked to explain, he reportedly said: "Anything from strippers to murders." She goes on to say that Nicolas offered to pay her $20,000 a head with a $15,000 incentive.
Police also spoke with a confidential informant who says Nicolas approached him asking to kill his parents in exchange for money.
Court documents state that Nicolas told the informant he expected to get about $8 million upon the death of his parents. $2 million from life insurance and the rest from selling his parent's business and residence. He reportedly offered to pay the informant $10,000 a month.
On top of that, police also obtained a search warrant for ADT security services. Police discovered that a remote login to the system happened multiple times the morning of the murder, from an IP address for Nicolas' computer in College Station. Police say video of the break-in was also apparently deleted.
"I pray that it wasn't true, you know, that it's just...maybe they were led in another direction. My heart goes out to them," says Acosta.
Police say the person or persons responsible for the murder are still at large.