Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Deleon Found Guilty in Yacht Murders

An Orange County jury has found Skylar Deleon, 29, guilty of three counts of first-degree murder and special circumstances for financial gain and multiple victims in the deaths of three people.

According to the jury, Deleon murdered three people, including a couple who were tied to an anchor and thrown off their yacht off the California coast. The penatly portion of Deleon's trial will start on Wednesday.

Tom and Jackie Hawks, whose bodies were never found, were thrown from their yacht in 2004 during a cruise to show the vessel to Deleon, whom they thought was a prospective buyer.

Prosecutors say that Deleon feigned interest in buying the boat and went on a test cruise where he and two other men overpowered the Hawkses, forced the couple to sign over ownership of the boat, tied them to the anchor and dropped them into the Pacific Ocean.

Deleon, who changed his name from John Jacobson Jr., his wife Jennifer Deleon, 24, Alonso Machain, 22, Myron Gardner Sr., 33, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 40, were accused of playing roles in the murder of the Hawks' to take their boat and life savings.

Deleon was also found guilty of murdering John Jarvi, of Anaheim, in 2003. According to prosecutors, Deleon met Jarvi in a work furlough program while serving jail time for burglary, and murdered him in Mexico after Jarvi gave him $50,000.

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