Who is Nicolas Shaughnessy? Texas man who hired hitman to kill parents for insurance money gets 35 years jail
The son of a Texas jeweler pleaded guilty to hiring a hitman to kill his elderly parents in their Austin home for a $2M insurance policy, of which he was the sole beneficiary
AUSTIN, TEXAS: A man from Texas has been sentenced to 35 years in jail by an Austin court after he pleaded guilty to hiring a hitman to kill his father. Nicolas 'Nick' Patrick Shaughnessy, 22, and his now ex-wife, Jaclyn Edison, were both charged in the brutal murder of Theodore 'Ted' Shaughnessy in March 2018. Theodore's wife Corey survived the attack by hiding in a closet.
Nicolas and Jaclyn planned to murder his parents after he found that he would receive $2M in the case of their death. The duo hired a gunman to attack the couple at their home in Travis County. His sentence was handed out after Corey approved the deal, but not everyone is happy with the verdict. The Shaughnessys' extended family issued a statement shortly after the verdict, slamming the deal as inadequate. The brutal murder case has also seen another suspect, Aaron Smith, receive a 35-year sentence. Here's everything we know about Nick.
Who is Nicolas Shaughnessy?
The 22-year-old reportedly lived in College Station, Texas. He grew up in Austin, where his father owned Gallerie Jewelers. The store is located at 35th and Jefferson Street in north-central Austin. According to Everipedia, Nick enjoyed go-karting with his father. In 2014, he participated in the WKSA World Tournament, in the sword form of Korean martial arts Kuk Sool Won. Nick was adopted by Theodore and Corey in 2000 when he was just 16 months old.
In July 2017, he married Jaclyn and moved to College Station, since she was studying at Texas A&M University. Court records show that the couple divorced in September 2019. He has a Facebook profile, which he does not seem to use often. There are only a few posts on his account, mostly to do with his display picture. According to the profile, he is a fan of racing and has liked many pages associated with racing teams. He has also liked the pages of Donald Trump and Mitt Romney. Nick's cover image is also that of the Blue Lives Matter flag, which is prominently used by many conservatives to fight against the proposal to defund the police.
An American Statesman report found that in middle school, he made money by selling candy bars from his locker. During his time at Austin High School, he reportedly ran a car-detailing business. In fact, he had such a love for flashy watches that his classmates dubbed him 'Rolo'. The report also found that he fell in love with Jaclyn after he found that she had won $850,000 in a settlement after a fall at an amusement park.
Not much is know about Nick. It is unclear where he was working prior to his arrest. It is reported he disabled the family's security system remotely through his cellphone, allowing the killer to gain access to the house. Nick's plan was to murder his parents so he could claim the $2M life insurance policy they had taken, of which he was the sole beneficiary. In April 2018, Gallerie Jewelers announced that Nick would be taking over the business from his father. It is unclear how the sentence will impact the business.
'Hope that you are never released from prison'
In May 2018, Nick and Jaclyn were charged with the murder of Theodore. Investigations found a gun linked to the murder, as well as chats between the two discussing payment for a 'job'. He reportedly also asked an employee at his College Station apartment if she would murder someone for cash. While both Nick and Jaclyn were charged, Jaclyn was released on bail after working with investigators.
Corey reportedly pleaded for leniency in the case of her son. Her attorney Steve Brittain told the Austin American Statesman, "She came to a conclusion about her son's guilt, and she felt that he should be punished. ... But she wants him to have a chance to — maybe someday — have a life." However, it seems like the extended family is not at all happy with the 35 years sentence. They issued a statement in court that said, "It would be our hope that you are never released from prison." They added, "we understand this plea, but are not happy about it."