AUSTIN, Texas - Officials say Nicholas Shaughnessy has entered a guilty plea in connection to a plot to hire a hitman and kills his parents in 2018. Shaughnessy's father was killed but his mother survived the attack.
Nicholas will be sent to prison for 35 years.
Officials say Nicholas will not be eligible for parole for almost 20 years and if denied parole will be spending the next three and a half decades incarcerated.
Officials say the office was asked by the wife of the victim to be lenient, however, the office determined this sentence to be appropriate.
"Our office takes violent crimes like this one, that make our community less safe, very seriously," said Travis County District Attorney José Garza. "My deepest sympathies go out to the family of Theodore Shaughnessy for their loss."
He reportedly conspired to have his parents killed due to financial issues.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THEODORE "TED" SHAUGHNESSY?
On March 2, 2018, detectives say they responded to a 9-1-1 call in the 9000 block of Oliver Drive just north of East Highway 290 in southwest Travis County. They found Theodore Shaughnessy, also known as Ted, shot to death in what was initially believed to be a home invasion.
Ted was well-known in the community as the owner of Gallerie Jewelers.
A search warrant showed that detectives said they noticed an open window in the home with no signs of forced entry and all other windows were locked.
Ted's wife, Corey, survived the attack. She told detectives that the room with the open window belonged to their son Nicholas.
Nicolas arrived on the scene with his wife, Jaclyn Edison, after receiving a call from Travis County deputies about the incident. At the time, Nicholas and Jaclyn were living in College Station.
Detectives interviewed Nicolas where he revealed he was in debt about $30,000 to his mom, Corey. The money was supposedly a loan to help him start a day trading business. The search warrant goes on to say Nicolas had an argument early in the week with his mom over the loan.
Jaclyn was also interviewed by detectives and her phone was searched. Detectives found a conversation addressed to both Nicolas and Jaclyn from a neighbor who wanted $2,600, which they had loaned to Nicolas the year before.
A friend to Nicolas reportedly said Nicolas talked about faking his own death and getting life insurance money. Detectives were able to learn Nicolas was the sole beneficiary of his parents’ life insurance of $2 million in the event both his parents were deceased.
The affidavit reveals officers came to the conclusion Nicolas and Jaclyn were struggling financially for a considerable amount of time including the day of the murder. A search of Nicolas Shaughnessy’s phone also revealed he was accessing his parents’ surveillance system after the murder using a different IP address, all this before officers called to tell him about the murder.
Nicholas was charged in connection to the plot. He was 19 at the time his father was killed and had just recently graduated from Austin High School.
An additional person, Johnny Ramon Leon, was also arrested in connection to the case.