In harrowing detail

Court testimony of man accused of killing Newport Beach couple racks Hawks family.

November 09, 2006|By Amanda Pennington

SANTA ANA — In riveting, emotional testimony that had family and friends of Tom and Jackie Hawks weeping during a court break, one of the men accused of killing the couple took the stand Wednesday to detail how he says the Hawkses were killed.

Alonso Machain, with his feet shackled, testified about his part in the slaying of the Newport Beach couple aboard their yacht, Well Deserved.

"I can't tell you how many times I mentally prepared for that moment in my head and how strong we were going to be," Ryan Hawks, Tom Hawks' son, said of the testimony in the trial of Jennifer Henderson-Deleon. "Just to hear in that much detail and from the murderer's mouth, it just really hurt."


Machain, who has been charged with murder and is scheduled to go on trial next year, was called as a prosecution witness against Henderson-Deleon whose trial began this week. Her husband, Skylar Deleon, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy are also scheduled to go on trial next year.

Machain, who has not been offered a deal from the prosecution, first testified how he met Skylar Deleon while working as a state correctional officer — Skylar Deleon was serving time on a work-release program in a Seal Beach jail.

According to Machain's testimony, here's how the Hawkses were killed.

After buying stun guns and handcuffs, Machain and Skylar Deleon met the Hawkses Nov. 6, 2004, the day they planned to kill the couple. Skylar Deleon planned to overtake Tom Hawks while Machain would subdue Jackie Hawks. After checking out the couple before meeting them that day, Skylar Deleon realized Tom Hawks was larger than him. For this reason, while the couple showed Skylar Deleon and Machain around the boat, they decided not to make their move.

"I wasn't going to do anything until Skylar did something," Machain said.

After this meeting with the couple, Skylar Deleon called his wife and asked her to bring their 9-month-old baby to meet Tom and Jackie Hawks "to make Mr. and Mrs. Hawks feel more at ease."

Machain and Skylar Deleon met the couple Nov. 9, 2004, and took the boat out. On Nov. 15, Machain, Kennedy and Skylar Deleon boarded the boat with the couple. Machain fought back tears as his story got closer to the details of the slaying.

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