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Third man pleads guilty in son's murder-for-hire plot to kill his father

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Third man pleads guilty in son's murder-for-hire plot to kill his father

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A third man has plead guilty to the 2018 murder of Austin jeweler Ted Shaughnessy.

Johnny Leon was originally charged with capital murder, but received a 35-year prison sentence Wednesday for the lesser charge of murder.

Last week, Arieon Smith and Ted’s son, Nicolas Shaughnessy also pleaded guilty to murder for a 35 year sentence. Both of them had also originally been charged with capital murder.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Man and hitman he hired to kill his father plead guilty to murder, both sentenced to 35 years in prison
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Nicolas hired Leon and Smith as hitmen to kill his father. Investigators say Nicolas and his wife, Jaclyn Edison, plotted to have both Ted and Nicolas’ mother, Corey Shaughnessy murdered so that they would get an inheritance.

Edison is is also charged in connection to Ted’s murder. She’s accused of solicitation to commit capital murder. She bonded out of jail shortly after her arrest in 2018. Her next court hearing is set for June.

Ted owned Gallerie Jewelers in Austin at the time. Nicolas was the sole beneficiary of $ 2 million in the event of his parents’ death, according to a search warrant.

Search warrants at the time of the murder said Nicolas, then 19 and living in College Station, was having financial troubles and owed his mother $ 30,000.

Johnny Leon
Johnny Leon (APD photo)
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While Corey dodged bullets shot in their home, investigators say Ted was found with multiple gunshot wounds.

At the time, Corey stood by her soon and daughter-in-law. However, after Leon’s sentencing, an allocution statement written by the mother and widow was read by a victim witness counselor, explaining that she supports her son’s sentencing.

“Two of these people were strangers to me. But the other two, my son and my daughter-in-law, I loved. Not me, my husband, or anyone in our family or any of our friends could have ever imagined that Nicolas and Jackie would want to have us murdered. It was truly inconceivable. And because of that, I held on to the tiniest string of hope that maybe it wasn’t true.”

She went on to describe how close the pair was to her, even after the murder-for-hire plot, “Nicolas and Jackie were with me when I went back to the house late in the afternoon on the day of Ted’s murder. They saw the pool of Ted’s blood where he had laid as he died– the broken glass, splintered wood, and bullet holes. They went with me to pick up his ashes. They lived with me in our home, mine and Ted’s. They ate the food that I bought and cooked for them. They wore the clothes and the shoes that I bought for them. They planned their future of profiting from the business that Ted and I had built for over 20 years. They took everything I had to give after failing to take my life.”

Corey’s statement went on to say that many facts of the case were withheld from her for the past couple of years, and that the string of hope she had was finally broken, as she now feels all four involved in the case deserve punishment.

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However, she noted that she asked District Attorney José Garza for some leniency in their sentencing.

“Something went terribly, terribly wrong in the minds of these four young adults. And I thank the District Attorney for considering punishments that while severe will allow the possibility for them to have a future. Only God can forgive them, but Ted is dead, and he deserves justice.”

Garza says like Nicolas and Smith, Leon won’t be eligible for parole for almost 20 years.

Jacqulyn Powell
This article originally appeared on KXAN Austin

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Third man pleads guilty in son's murder-for-hire plot to kill his father
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