Neighbors react after College Station teens arrested for hiring hitman

Published: May. 30, 2018 at 5:21 PM CDT
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A College Station couple is in jail in Austin. They are at the center of a Travis County Sheriff's Office investigation involving a murder-for-hire plot. Both suspects are only 19 years old.

Tuesday night, Nicolas Shaughnessy and his wife Jaclyn Edison, a Texas A&M Student, were arrested in Austin for soliciting to commit capital murder.

On March 2, Nicolas's father Theodore Shaughnessy was shot dead in his Austin area home by an intruder. Police say his murderer was a hitman hired by Nicolas and Jaclyn. Footage from the crime scene showed Nicolas being interviewed by Travis County investigators outside the home.

Nicolas and Jaclyn had been living in College Station together, recently married. Just days after the murder in March, investigators showed up to search the couple's College Station home in the 2300 block of Cottage Lane. Nearby neighbors are reacting to the crime.

"They were here for several hours. There was at least a dozen cop cars," said Caleb Miller, a neighbor.

Miller said their interactions as neighbors were strange.

"He was just a weird guy, a weird character. Really out of place with the college setting," said Miller.

He also told News 3 Nicolas Shaughnessy would talk about his family's money and have socially awkward conversations.

"He made a lot of, he made sure to make a lot of points on his family's wealth and stuff like that which is weird. And just some of the things he would say kind of and so it's not really surprising at all," said Miller.

Investigators say Nicolas stood to gain $2 million on a life insurance policy for his parents where he was sole beneficiary. He could have also gained up to $6 million more from the family home and jewelry store, Gallerie Jewelers in Austin.

"It's really selfish and it's really sad what people would do to acquire a little bit," said Miller.

Neighbors tell us the couple moved out earlier this spring.

"He was just moving out and asked me if I wanted a bench and yeah he was taking his cameras down," said Miller, as he sat on the bench they gave him.

Court documents tell us Nicolas's parents' home security system was accessed from his College Station apartment the morning of the murder. Surveillance video from inside was also deleted remotely.

His mother Corey Shaughnessy shot back at the intruder and wasn't hurt.

"They'll throw away friends, family, even their whole lives just for a little monetary value in their lives, so it's really sad," said Miller.

Jaclyn Edison and Nicolas Shaughnessy were both in jail in Austin Wednesday afternoon. Edison's bond is $1 million, while Shaughnessy's is $3 million.

Travis County Sheriff's officials tell us they've not arrested the gunman yet and haven't ruled out more than one shooter being involved.

Investigators also say in the arrest affidavit that they received tips the couple was hiring a hitman, including from a confidential informant who was told they'd receive $10,000 a month for the killings.