Killer sentenced to die

The victims’ son says he’ll be there if Skylar Deleon is actually executed, but he has doubts it will happen.

April 10, 2009|By Joseph Serna

Pale with tousled hair, his orange jump suit sagging off his skinny frame and his neck craned forward, Skylar Deleon stared forward nearly emotionless but with clenched teeth as the family of his three dead victims told the judge how he had destroyed their hopes of a normal life and how they wished for him to be sentenced to death.

Deleon said nothing during his sentencing Friday, and never once looked at the Hawks family, or Jeff Jarvi, all of whom for the last four-plus years have sat through his countless court appearances and trial, waiting for justice.

Just after 11 a.m. in a packed courtroom on the ninth floor of Orange County’s Central Justice Center, Judge Frank Fasel dispensed a sentence that was a relief to most and surprise to none.


Deleon, 29, was sentenced to death for killing Tom and Jackie Hawks in 2004 and Jon Jarvi in 2003.

“This does bring closure. Being in court for all this, it stirs up emotions you didn’t know you have,” said Jeff Jarvi, older brother to Deleon’s first victim, Jon, in December 2003.

Early in their relationship, Deleon and then-wife Jennifer Henderson had amassed a massive debt.

While serving time in a Seal Beach jail in 2003, Deleon befriended Jon Jarvi and convinced him to take out a $50,000 loan for an investment in Mexico.

Trusting him, Jarvi drove with Deleon to a secluded road in the Mexican desert. There, Deleon committed “the ultimate betrayal” and cut Jarvi’s throat before walking away, leaving him to make a trail of blood as he crawled to the road, where he died.

The money Deleon got from Jarvi was quickly spent, leaving him and his wife-to-be thousands in debt yet again.

Deleon, ever the boating enthusiast, perused local ads for available boats, and chose the family-centered Hawkses as his targets.

Bribing notaries to forge government documents, tapping the Long Beach Insane Crips to help supply muscle for the crime, Deleon set out to deceive and ultimately kill the retired couple.

He, along with John Fitzgerald Kennedy and a third man, admitted accomplice Alonso Machain, subdued the couple aboard their yacht, forced them to sign over legal rights to their finances, and threw them overboard tied to an anchor alive.

“It’s difficult to imagine a case more cold-blooded and calculated than this,” said Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Matt Murphy after the sentencing. “As cold a murder as has probably ever existed in horrible murders.”

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