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Trials separated in alleged killings

October 28, 2006

The trial of Jennifer Deleon of Long Beach is scheduled to begin next week. She is alleged to have participated in killing Newport Beach couple Thomas and Jackie Hawks in 2004. A Superior Court judge granted a motion Friday to separate her case from two other defendants, including her husband, Skylar Deleon, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Jennifer Deleon, 34, is accused of participating in a murder-for-profit plan that prosecutors say ended in the deaths of the Hawkses, a retired couple who lived aboard their yacht Well Deserved, according to the district attorney. Skylar Deleon, John Kennedy and Myron Gardner Sr., also of Long Beach, and Alonso Machain of Pico Rivera, have also been charged.

According to the district attorney, Jennifer Deleon met the Hawkses on Nov. 9, 2004, aboard their boat after the Hawkses advertised the boat for sale.

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On Nov. 15, posing as prospective buyers, Skylar Deleon, Machain and Kennedy reportedly took the boat out with the couple. They reportedly overpowered the Hawkses and had them sign over the title of the boat before tying them to the anchor and throwing it overboard, according to the district attorney.

Jennifer Deleon is accused of helping to clean the boat and of destroying evidence.

Motions are scheduled to begin Monday and opening statements on Nov. 6.

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