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Woman enters not-guilty plea

August 23, 2005|By: Lauren Vane

A Long Beach woman who will stand trial with her husband and another

man for the murder of a Newport Beach couple pleaded not guilty

Monday to charges that she was an accessory to a third murder.

Jennifer Henderson-Deleon, 24, her husband Skylar Deleon, 26, and

Deleon's cousin Michael Lewis Jr., 24, of Arizona, are charged in the

murder of a 45-year-old Anaheim resident, John Jarvi.

The Deleons are already in custody awaiting trial for the murders

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of Tom and Jackie Hawks, a retired couple who police believe were

handcuffed to the anchor of their yacht and thrown overboard while

alive in November. Their bodies have not been found.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Matt Murphy, prosecutor in the case against the

Deleons in the Hawkses' killing, said Monday the two murder cases

have a common link.

"I think that, perhaps, the clearest pattern is Skylar Deleon has

no problem killing people for money," Murphy said outside of court

Monday.

Charges filed late Thursday allege that Skylar Deleon murdered

Jarvi for financial gain. Jarvi was found with his throat slashed

along a Mexican roadside in December 2003.

Newport Beach detectives arrested the other suspect in the case,

Michael Lewis, on Thursday at his home in Oatman, Ariz., with

assistance from the Mohave County Sheriff's Department.

Deleon and Jarvi met while they were both serving time in a

work-release program at the Seal Beach Jail in December 2003, Murphy

said.

After Jarvi was released, he took out a second mortgage on his

condo and told his mother he was going to Mexico on a "no-lose"

business deal, according to a statement released by the Orange County

district attorney's office.

On Dec. 26, Jarvi reportedly went to his bank in Laguna Beach and

cashed two $25,000 checks; afterward, he telephoned Skylar Deleon,

according to the statement.

Hours later, Skylar Deleon allegedly spent $18,000 in new $100

bills at a boatyard and deposited $21,000 into a joint account he

held with his wife. The Deleons were also seen buying a $2,200

wedding band, the statement said.

Jarvi made a phone call to Skylar Deleon on Dec. 27, the same day

Deleon and Lewis allegedly drove to Mexico. Jarvi's body was found at

4 p.m. that day on a highway near Ensenada. Skylar Deleon's car

crossed the U.S.-Mexico border about two hours later, the statement

said.

The day of the alleged murder, Deleon was still serving

work-release time at the Seal Beach jail, Murphy said. Jail records

indicate that Alonso Machain, a jailer at the Seal Beach jail,

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