Teen and Girlfriend Accused of Hiring Hitman to Kill His Dad — and Alleged Gunman Is Arrested
Johnny Leon III was arrested and charged with soliciting to commit capital murder
A third suspect has been arrested in the March shooting death of a Texas jewelry store owner, who police allege was a victim of a murder-for-hire plot hatched by his son and the son’s wife.
Johnny Roman Leon III was arrested Wednesday in Austin in the death of Theodore Shaughnessy. Leon is charged with one count of soliciting to commit capital murder, according to online court records.
On March 2, the victim’s wife, Corey Shaughnessy, called 911 to report an intruder inside her Austin-area home. When Travis County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at the scene, they discovered Theodore Shaughnessy dead from multiple gunshot wounds, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.
In May, the couple’s son Nicolas and his wife Jaclyn Edison were arrested and charged with solicitation to commit capital murder. Both were 19 at the time.
Since then, detectives have searched for the shooter, officials told PEOPLE.
Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Kristen Dark told the Austin American-Statesman, “We do think this is the shooter,” but added, “There is the possibility that there was a second shooter.”
Investigators discovered surveillance footage of two men approaching the victim’s home hours before the shooting, the affidavit states. They interviewed one of the men — whom the affidavit names as a “source” — who alleged Leon was the other person in the video.
“The source stated Nick [Shaughnessy] and Johnny [Leon] told him there were some people in Austin who were costing them $30,000 per month,” the affidavit states.
Leon and Shaughnessy allegedly told the source they needed two people to kill two other people and possibly kill some dogs, the affidavit states.
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“The source said he was offered $2,500 to do it, another $2,500 after it was done and then another $5,000 later on,” the affidavit alleges. “Nick and Johnny told the source the house was secluded and no one would hear the shots.”
The source has not been identified or charged with a crime.
PEOPLE’s attempts to reach Shaughnessy’s attorney have been unsuccessful. His family’s attorneys Perry Minton and Rick Flores released a statement to local reporters following his arrest, saying the widow of Theodore Shaughnessy and mom of Nicolas Shaughnessy believes the younger man is innocent.
“We have been working with the Shaughnessy family over the last several months as they mourn the loss of Ted,” the statement reads. “These allegations are not consistent in any way with the young man we have come to know. Nick has been living with his mother since the tragedy occurred. Ms. Shaughnessy stands firmly behind her son. We will review the evidence as it becomes available to us.”
Leon’s bond was set at $3 million. It was unclear whether he had appeared in front of a judge to enter a plea or if he has an attorney.
Shaughnessy and Edison have both pleaded not guilty.
Shaughnessy remains in jail. Edison was released from jail after posting bail.