VIRGINIA MAN EXTRADITED TO ORANGE COUNTY FOR SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES MURDER FOR FINANCIAL GAIN OF ELDERLY INVESTOR AFTER LURING VICTIM ONTO BOAT IN DANA POINT

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case# 09CF0369




 

March 26, 2009

Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

VIRGINIA MAN EXTRADITED TO ORANGE COUNTY FOR SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES MURDER FOR FINANCIAL GAIN OF ELDERLY INVESTOR AFTER LURING VICTIM ONTO BOAT IN DANA POINT

 

SANTA ANA – A Virginia man was brought back to Orange County today on charges of murdering an elderly Phoenix investor for financial gain after luring the victim onto a boat in Dana Point Harbor. Gary Shawkey, 45, Mechanicsville, VA, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain and faces a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole if convicted.  The defendant, who was in custody in Virginia on unrelated theft charges at the time of his arrest for this murder, was extradited to Orange County today and is expected to be arraigned Monday, March 30, 2009, at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana. The Department is to be determined.

 

For several years prior to February 2008, the defendant is accused of swindling about $1 million from a 71-year-old Phoenix man, Robert Vendrick, who had retired from the software industry, by promising him high returns on non-existent investments.  In February 2008 the victim was becoming reluctant to invest more money with Shawkey.  The defendant is accused of convincing Vendrick to invest in a new venture involving the development of “top secret computer software” for the federal government.  The defendant is accused of convincing the victim to wire $100,000 to a bank account and telling the victim to fly to Orange County to meet with federal agents to finalize the project. 

 

The defendant is accused of buying a boat in Orange County. When the defendant and the victim met in Orange County, the defendant is accused of convincing the victim to sail to San Clemente Island to meet with “federal agents.”  Shawkey and Vendrick got on the boat and sailed out of Dana Point Harbor. The victim was never seen again.  Sometime between Feb. 14, 2008, and Feb. 24, 2008, Shawkey is accused of murdering Vendrick and disposing of the body for financial gain. 

 

Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case. 

 

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