A fourth man has been arrested in connection to the March slaying of an Austin jeweler, according to a report.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that Arieon Oneal Smith, 21, was charged Thursday in the March 2 slaying of Theodore Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy's son, Nicolas, and 21-year-old Johnny Roman Leon III are charged with capital murder in the case. Nicolas Shaughnessy's wife, Jaclyn Edison, is charged with solicitation to commit capital murder. The three were all living in College Station at the time of the slaying.
According to Travis County authorities, just before 5 a.m. March 2, Nicolas Shaughnessy's parents -- Corey Shaughnessy, 53, and Theodore Shaughnessy, 55 -- were awoken in their Austin home by their dogs barking. Theodore Shaughnessy drew his handgun and went to the kitchen, where he was met with a burst of gunfire from two different weapons. He collapsed and died, and one of his dogs was shot and killed beside him.
Authorities say Corey Shaughnessy saw two shadowy figures in the bedroom and fired her own handgun. She then hid in a closet and was not injured as the intruders fled the scene. Representatives with a security company told law enforcement that the Shaughnessys' home burglary alarms had been remotely disabled from Nicolas Shaughnessy's computer in College Station just before the slaying and reactivated about an hour after Theodore Shaughnessy died. Video from the home's security cameras also had been manually deleted.
Law enforcement officials say Nicolas Shaughnessy may have been looking to receive $8 million from a combination of life insurance payouts and the sale of his parents' home and jewelry business.
According to the American-Statesman, Edison told investigators that Nicolas Shaughnessy planned the killing and that he found someone in a club to take the job. An affidavit obtained by the newspaper says Leon admitted that Nicolas Shaughnessy had offered him $10,000 to kill the couple and that he had gone to the Shaughnessy home with Shaughnessy in late February. The pair was unable to get into the home and they left, the document states.
Leon told authorities he did not go back to the Shaughnessy home and was not involved in the slaying, but investigators found cellphone records showing he had traveled to Austin from College Station on March 2, the report states. More than 60 communications between Leon's phone and a number later identified as belonging to Smith were found, including on the day of Theodore Shaughnessy's killing and the day before. The same number was also found on Nicolas Shaughnessy's phone, the newspaper reported.
Detectives spoke with Smith on Dec. 5, and Smith said he was friends with Leon and had met Nicolas Shaughnessy in a club. He initially denied knowing anything about the slaying, but later said he had gone to College Station to meet with Leon, who offered him $5,000 a month to participate in the killing -- an amount that would be paid by Nicolas Shaughnessy, the affidavit states.
According to the American-Statesman, Smith said he did not take part in the killing but allowed Leon to use a friend's vehicle to travel to Austin to commit the crime, while Smith and a friend checked into a College Station hotel. He told authorities Leon came back and told him about the killing, the report states.
According to the affidavit, Smith became upset during the interview and began crying.
During questioning, detectives asked Smith why his DNA was found in the Shaughnessy home and why his cellphone showed it had been used in Austin, the newspaper reports. Smith replied that he had left his phone in the car that Leon drove and that Leon was wearing his shirt.
Smith's friend told authorities on the day of the killing that Smith and Leon left the College Station hotel the night of the killing and did not return until the next morning, the affidavit states.
Smith is being held in the Travis County Jail on $1 million cash bond. Leon and Shaughnessy are being held in the Travis County Jail on $3 million bond. Edison was released on $250,000 bond in June.