Son of slain jeweler admits to hiring hitman, gets 35 years

Texas suspect conspired to have his parents killed in murder-for-hire plot that stood to land him $2 million.


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mug shot of Nicolas Shaughnessy
Nicolas Shaughnessy
(Travis County Sheriff's Office)

The son of a murdered Texas jeweler has been sentenced to 35 years in the slammer after admitting he hired a hitman to kill his father.

Nicolas Patrick Shaughnessy, 22, pleaded guilty to murder during a virtual court hearing Wednesday, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Shaughnessy’s extended family said in a statement that the plea deal was inadequate.

“It would be our hope that you are never released from prison,” the family wrote. “We understand this plea but are not happy about it.”

Another suspect, Arieon Smith, 23, also pleaded guilty to murder at the same hearing and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

mug shot of Arieon Smith
Arieon Smith, one of several other suspects, also pleaded guilty to murder during the hearing
(Tarrant County)

Shaughnessy and his then girlfriend Jaclyn Alexa Edison were arrested in May 2018 for criminal solicitation to commit capital murder.

The pair, who have since married and divorced, were charged with hiring people to kill Shaughnessy’s parents, Ted and Corey Shaughnessy. Edison’s charges are still pending.

mug shot of Jaclyn Alexa Edison
Jaclyn Alexa Edison
(Travis County Sheriff’s Office)

Shaughnessy’s parents were attacked on March 2, 2018, in the bedroom of their Travis County home.

Ted Shaughnessy, owner of Gallerie Jewelers in Austin, was found dead in the hallway from multiple gunshot wounds. Corey Shaughnessy survived after returning the killer’s fire and crawling to hide in a closet and call 911.

Detectives found no evidence of forced entry at the crime scene, and arrested Nicolas after discovering he stood to receive $2 million in the event of his parents’ death.

The Shaughnessy family pictured in happier times: Ted, Corey and Nick
The Shaughnessy family in happier times: Ted, Corey and Nick
(Shaughnessy Family Handout/Austin American-Statesman)

Nicolas Shaughnessy’s attorneys said in a statement that their client “has accepted full responsibility for his role in his father’s death and has been in communication with his mother through us and her attorney.”

They continued: “Nick’s mother, naturally devastated after learning of his participation, still supports her son with the understanding he and everyone involved must be punished. Nicolas is prepared to pay the consequences for this tragedy and hopes someday to better understand why he did not stop this from happening.”

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