|For Immediate Release
April 11th, 2005
Media Relations Director
MURDER CHARGES FILED AGAINST A FIFTH DEFENDANT IN THE DISAPPEARANCE OF COUPLE IN NEWPORT BEACH
Santa Ana— The Orange County District Attorney’s office has charged Jennifer Henderson Deleon, 23, of Long Beach with two counts of murder for conspiring with her husband and three other men to kill Thomas and Jackie Hawks. Skylar James Deleon, Alonso Machain, Myron Gardner, and John F. Kennedy are the other defendants in the case. If convicted on all counts the five defendants could face life in prison without the possibility of parole or the district attorney may choose to seek the death penalty. It is customary to defer a decision on the death penalty until all aggravating and mitigating factors have been considered.
The Hawks, who are from Prescott, Arizona, had been living on their 55-foot yacht named “Well Deserved” in Newport Harbor. The couple had advertised their boat for sale in several yacht magazines. They had planned to use the profits to buy a house and a smaller boat. The Hawks were last seen on November 15, 2004 when they met with Skylar Deleon regarding the purchase of their boat. A month after their disappearance, the Hawks’ car was recovered in Mexico.
Skylar Deleon was previously arrested and charged in February with grand theft involving another boat. He also has a first strike allegation for a May 2003 conviction of first degree burglary. Jennifer Deleon, who recently gave birth to the couple’s second child, is being held without bail in the Orange County Jail.
The arraignment for Jennifer Deleon is set for today at 1:30 PM in department H2 of the Harbor Justice Center located at 4601 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach, CA 92660. Her arraignment is expected to be continued until Friday, April 15, 2005 at 1:30 PM in department H2 to coincide with the arraignment of Skylar Deleon, Machain, Gardner, and Kennedy. Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy in the Homicide Unit has been assigned to prosecute the case.