Fourth Suspect Charged In Alleged Texas Homicide-For-Insurance coverage Plot

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Travis County sheriff’s deputies have obtained an arrest warrant for a fourth suspect needed in reference to an alleged murder-for-hire plot that left Austin jeweler Ted Shaughnessy lifeless in his residence in southwest Travis County in March.

Arieon Oneal Smith, 21, faces a cost of capital homicide, based on an arrest affidavit filed on Thursday.

Three others, together with Ted Shaughnessy’s son, Nicolas Shaughnessy, his spouse Jaclyn Alexa Edison, and Johnny Roman Leon III, have additionally been charged within the case, based on courtroom filings relationship again to the time of the killing.

READ MORE: Nicolas Shaughnessy was adopted by an Austin jeweler and his spouse however police say greed led to a plot to have them killed

Ted Shaughnessy died on the morning of March 2 after he was roused from his sleep by his two barking canines.

Shaughnessy obtained off the bed and armed himself with a .45 caliber handgun and walked out of his bed room. Inside minutes, his spouse, Corey, who had remained in mattress, heard gunfire erupt from exterior the door.

She grabbed her .357 revolver as gunmen took goal at her and commenced capturing. She unloaded her firearm of their path, the darted into her closet and known as 911.

By the point first responders arrived, the gunmen had been gone, and Ted was lifeless on the ground within the kitchen.

Travis County detectives spent the following a number of months piecing collectively proof they are saying led them to conclude that Nicolas Shaughnessy had orchestrated the killing to reap the advantages of life insurance coverage insurance policies, based on courtroom information filed earlier this 12 months.

Investigators dredged by means of mobile phone information, together with texts and GPS coordinates exhibiting communication amongst a number of events concerning the killing and journey from Faculty Station, the place the youthful Shaughnessy lived, to Austin. Detectives additionally discovered proof on social media that Nicolas was on the hunt for somebody to kill his dad and mom, arrest information present.

Nicolas and Edison had been the primary two arrested in reference to the case. The affidavit filed on Thursday mentioned Edison informed investigators that Nicolas deliberate the killing, saying that he informed her he discovered somebody in a membership who agreed to take the job.

Leon was subsequently arrested on capital homicide costs in July. The affidavit mentioned Leon admitted that Nicolas provided him $10,000 to commit the murders, and mentioned he’d gone with Nicolas to the Shaughnessy residence in late February, when Nicolas deliberate to kill his dad and mom himself.

On that evening, nonetheless, Nicolas informed Leon he couldn’t get into the house, and the pair left, the doc mentioned.

Leon informed investigators that he by no means went again to the Shaughnessy residence and was not concerned within the precise killing, saying he was asleep along with his girlfriend on the time. Investigators, nonetheless, discovered mobile phone information that confirmed his cellphone traveled from Faculty station to Austin on March 2, and that he communicated along with his girlfriend in the course of the time he informed authorities he’d been asleep along with her, the report mentioned.

Investigators additionally discovered greater than 60 communications with a cellphone they later discovered belonged to Smith, which included communications on March 1 and a couple of. The identical quantity got here up in a search of Nicolas Shaughnessy’s cellphone as effectively.

On Dec. 5, detectives interviewed Smith, who informed them he was pals with Leon and had met Nicolas Shaughnessy in a membership. He first informed authorities that he knew nothing concerning the homicide, however later informed them he had gone to school station to fulfill with Leon, who requested him to take part within the killing for $5,000 per 30 days, which might be funded by Nicolas, the affidavit mentioned.

Smith mentioned he refused to participate within the killing, however allowed Leon to make use of one other pal’s automobile to journey to Austin to commit the homicide. He informed detectives that he and that pal checked right into a resort in Faculty Station whereas Leon left within the pal’s automobile and headed to Austin.

In accordance with the affidavit, Smith turned visibly upset in the course of the interview and commenced to cry.

He informed authorities Leon got here again and informed him concerning the killing, saying he’d managed to take some jewellery, however “unable to get her.”

Nevertheless, throughout questioning, detectives requested Smith why mobile phone information confirmed utilization in Austin, and why his DNA would have been discovered on the Shaughnessy residence.

He informed detectives that he left his cellphone contained in the automobile Leon took to Austin, and that Leon was sporting considered one of his shirts.

On the identical day, detectives interviewed a pal of Smith who informed them Smith left the resort in Faculty Station with Leon on the evening of the killing, and that he didn’t return till morning, the affidavit mentioned.

Smith was arrested in Ft. Value on Wednesday and is anticipated to transferred to Travis County in coming days.

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