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Guilty verdict in case of boat owners thrown overboard

Former child actor Skylar Deleon, 29, was found guilty Tuesday of three counts of first-degree murder and special circumstances for financial gain and multiple victims for the murder of Tom and Jackie Hawks in 2004, according to a CNN report.

Deleon, of Long Beach, Calif., was also found guilty of the death of Jon Peter Jarvi, an Anaheim, Calif., man found dead in Mexico after Deleon swindled him out of $50,000. The same jury will begin deliberations today on whether he should face death for the three murders, according to the report.

Deleon’s wife, Jennifer, has been serving two consecutive life terms without the chance of parole since 2006. On Nov. 15, 2004, Jennifer used their 9-month-old daughter to lure the California couple into taking them for a test ride on the older couple’s 55-foot yacht they had up for sale, according to the Los Angeles Times. Tom and Jackie Hawks, under the assumption Deleon and his wife were prospective boat buyers, took Deleon, suspected accomplices Alonso Machain, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy on a cruise from Newport Beach, Calif.

Once out on the open water, prosecutors claim Tom and Jackie Hawks were handcuffed, and forced to sign and fingerprint documents putting the boat in the Deleon’s name. They then blindfolded the couple, tied them to an anchor, and pushed them overboard, according to the report. Tom Hawks, 57, was a retired probation officer and firefighter, and his wife, 47, was a homemaker who helped raise Tom’s two boys from a previous marriage. They decided to sell their yacht after using it for extended cruising in the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean.

Kennedy is awaiting trial and will also face the death penalty if convicted. Machain is awaiting sentencing and has admitted to boarding the yacht when the Hawkses were killed and confirmed the circumstances of their death.

— Elizabeth Ellis