Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Newport Beach, CA
Re: Former Power Ranger and wife charged with murder...along with Crips gang member JFK
Judge: 3 must stand trial for murder
After a two-day hearing, it is ruled that two men and one woman will stand trial for murder of couple missing since November.
By Lauren Vane, Daily Pilot
A Newport Beach couple fought back in the final moments of their lives before they were overpowered, bound with tape, chained to the anchor of their yacht and thrown overboard, a police detective testified Tuesday.
After a two-day preliminary hearing, Orange County Superior Court Judge John Conley ruled that two men and one woman will stand trial for the murder of Tom and Jackie Hawks, who have been missing since November. Their bodies have not been found.
The bulk of the testimony Tuesday came from Newport Beach Police Det. Evan Sailor, who recounted the details of the alleged murders based on information from Alonso Machain, 21, of Pico Rivera. Machain confessed to police he was aboard the Hawkses' 55-foot cabin cruiser Well Deserved and participated in the Nov. 15 murders along with Skylar Deleon and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, both of Long Beach, Sailor testified.
Five people have been charged with the Hawkses' murders. Kennedy, 40, Deleon, 26, and his wife, Jennifer Henderson-Deleon, 24, were in court Tuesday. Machain and Myron Gardner, 42, have been granted a separate hearing, scheduled for Oct. 7. Each of the five faces two counts of murder, with special circumstances of murder for financial gain and multiple murder. The special circumstances make each of the five eligible for the death penalty if convicted.
Tuesday's testimony was the first detailed public accounting of the events surrounding the Hawks' deaths. Outside the courtroom, the Hawks family reacted to the disturbing testimony.
"I know that they put up a fight," Ryan Hawks, Tom's son from a previous marriage, said of the account of his parents' struggle to live. "I'm his son.... He's my one and only."
According to Sailor's testimony regarding Machain's firsthand account, Machain said that DeLeon told him the Hawkses were bad people who had angered someone and that he needed to make them disappear. DeLeon reportedly promised Machain "several million dollars" if he participated in the murders, Sailor said.
DeLeon told Machain he had done it before, though usually not for money, and he told Machain he was usually able to keep the people's property, Sailor testified.
Machain and DeLeon met each other in a Seal Beach jail where Machain was working as a jailer, Sailor said.
DeLeon showed Machain pictures of the Hawkses' boat and discussed the plan to kill them and take the boat, Sailor said.
The pictures were kept on DeLeon's laptop and taken from advertisements publicizing the sale of the boat, Deputy Dist. Atty. Matt Murphy said.
DeLeon and Machain met the Hawkses for the first time Nov. 6, bringing with them stun guns and handcuffs, intent on killing them that day, Sailor said Machain told him in an interview.
Sometime during that meeting, DeLeon decided that Tom Hawks was too big for the two men to overpower; he canceled the plan and plotted to return at another time with a third accomplice, Sailor said.
Machain told Sailor that on the way home from the Nov. 6 visit, DeLeon called his wife and told her that she need to meet the Hawks in person "to make them feel more at ease."
On Nov. 9, DeLeon and Machain visited the Hawkses again, discussed the potential purchase and took specific notice of how to operate the yacht, Sailor said.
DeLeon and Machain drove to a Long Beach liquor store Nov. 15, where they met a man later identified by Machain as John Kennedy, whom DeLeon solicited for help in murdering the Hawkses, Sailor testified.
DeLeon and Kennedy did not know each other before the day of the murder, Machain told Sailor. Machain did not know Kennedy's name Nov. 15, but later identified Kennedy out of a police lineup provided by Long Beach police detectives, Sailor said. DeLeon had told Machain that the man they met at the liquor store was a former member of a Long Beach gang, Sailor said.
In the car ride from Long Beach to Newport, the three men discussed the plan, Sailor said. It was decided that DeLeon and Kennedy would take care of Tom Hawks and Machain would take care of Jackie Hawks, Sailor said.
The men parked several blocks away from the dock at 15th Street in Newport Harbor and called Tom Hawks, who met them and took them out to the mooring and onto the Well Deserved for what the Hawks believed was a test drive, Sailor said.
Kennedy was introduced as DeLeon's accountant, Sailor said.
Once the boat left Newport Harbor, Machain told Sailor, Kennedy feigned sea-sickness and went below to the bedroom. At some point, Tom Hawks went downstairs and was joined by DeLeon, Sailor said. Machain told police he remained upstairs with Jackie Hawks, Sailor said.
Jackie heard the sounds of a struggle coming from below and tried to go downstairs when Machain restrained her -- at first unsuccessfully attempting to use the stun gun, then handcuffing her, Sailor said.
Machain told police that he saw only the last part of a struggle between Tom Hawks and DeLeon and Kennedy, Sailor said.
Both Tom and Jackie Hawks' eyes and months were covered with black duct tape, and they were brought up to the main deck, where they were told they would live only if they signed power of attorney documents, Sailor said.
The Hawks were released from the handcuffs so they could sign the documents, Machain told Sailor.
After the Hawkses signed the documents, , they were tied together with rope and handcuffed to the boat's 66-pound anchor, Sailor said.
Tom Hawks made a final effort to save himself and his wife. Machain told Sailor that Hawks kicked DeLeon in the groin, knocking him to the ground, Sailor said. DeLeon then got up and, with a smile, threw the anchor overboard, Sailor testified. The force of the anchor dragged the Hawkses through an open door on the ship's deck and into the water, Sailor said.
Machain recounted that Jackie Hawks hit the side of the door "pretty hard" when the anchor pulled them into the water, Sailor said.
After that, the three men searched the boat, taking money they found aboard in a briefcase and envelope, Sailor testified Machain told him.
Gardner, the fifth man charged in the couple's murder, has yet to be connected to the crime.
"He wasn't on the boat," Murphy, the deputy district attorney, said outside of court Tuesday.
Murphy refused to comment on Gardner's relationship with Kennedy or DeLeon.
That was a very cold-blooded, cruel execution.