AUSTIN, Texas — A third suspect has pled guilty in connection with a murder-for-hire plot of an Austin jeweler in 2018.
Johnny Leon III has taken responsibility for the death of Theodore Shaughnessy, according to the Travis County District Attorney's Office. Leon was sentenced to 35 years in prison, officials announced Wednesday.
Leon's guilty plea comes one week after Theodore Shaughnessy's son, Nicholas Shaughnessy, and Arieon Smith both pled guilty for murder charges related to the murder-for-hire. Nicholas Shaughnessy and Smith were sentenced to 35 years, as well.
In 2019, KVUE reported that prosecutors would not be making plea offers or seek the death penalty for Shaughnessy and two other men charged in the Austin jeweler's death. Leon and Smith were also charged in the murder-for-hire plot.
According to court records, cellphone data, GPS coordinates and witness interviews revealed the apparent plan by Shaughnessy. Records state he eventually received commitments from Leon and Smith.
Court records indicated Shaughnessy told Leon he would pay him $10,000 to murder his parents and Smith at least $5,000 per month for his participation.
Nicholas Shaughnessy's wife, Jaclyn Edison, was also charged with solicitation to commit capital murder. Her bond was eventually reduced and she was released from jail as officials said she was cooperating with the investigation and providing valuable clues.
Leon will not be eligible for parole for almost 20 years, until he is 44, the DA's Office said.
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