A Texas couple allegedly arranged to have the man’s jeweler father killed so they could receive a hefty payout from his life insurance policy and the sale of his business and homes.
Nicolas Shaughnessy and Jaclyn Edison, both 19, were charged Tuesday in connection with March 2 home invasion that left Theodore Shaughnessy, 55, dead. According to the American-Statesman, police said the couple hired a hitman to kill his jeweler father and Corey Shaughnessy, his mother.
Theodore was at his Travis County home on the night in question when he and Corey were awakened by barking dogs. Theodore reportedly left the home to investigate and was shot dead. Corey reportedly hid in a closet and called police.
An affidavit obtained by the newspaper stated that Nicolas told someone he solicited that he stood to gain $8 million from his parents’ life insurance and from selling their business and homes. Investigators verified that Nicolas would receive $2 million in the event of his parents’ deaths.
An informant reportedly told police that Nicholas offered them $10,000 a month to carry out the murders. The informant claimed the teen’s girlfriend was also present for the conversation, according to WXAN.
Investigators located bullet casings in the kitchen and in couple’s bedroom. The station reported there was no sign of forced entry into the home.
Detectives also spotted an open window in Nicholas’ bedroom and noted that the “suspects would have known they had to escape back out the bedroom window” due to how the door locks operated. Nicholas reportedly later told investigators that his bedroom window could’ve been left open because he often used it to exit the home instead of the door.
Authorities were working the crime scene the following morning when Nicholas and his girlfriend arrived at the home. They reportedly said they were in College Station when they learned of the fatal incident.
Documents obtained by WXAN noted that Nicholas “was not showing any emotion at all and showed very little concern” for his mother while speaking to police.
The Statesman reported that a family attorney said the teen’s mother is standing behind her son as the allegations “are not consistent with the young man we have come to know.”
Meanwhile, Nicholas and Edison are both charged with soliciting to commit capital murder. Nicholas’ bail was set at $3 million while Edison is being held on $1 million bail.
[Featured image: Nicolas Shaughnessy/Travis County Jail; Theodore Shaughnessy/Facebook]