Yacht targeted in OC murder scheme to be released

The Orange County Register reports that during the four-plus years that the Tom and Jackie Hawks murder case was in the Orange County criminal courts, their boat, the “Well Deserved” was preserved as evidence – perhaps the largest single item ever saved in an Orange County criminal case.

In 2004 the Hawks were lured to sea by Skylar Deleon in an elaborate murder scheme to steal the yacht. The District Attorney’s case claimed that somewhere near Catalina, Deleon and accomplice John F. Kennedy subdued Thomas Hawks below deck with the help of a Taser gun while co-conspirator Alonso Machain grabbed Jackie Hawks in the galley and bound, blindfolded, gagged the couple as they were forced to sign sales documents. Then they were tied to a 55-pound anchor and thrown overboard.

Deleon and Kennedy were tried separately and convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and are awaiting possible death sentences later this month. Machain, cooperated with prosecutors and testified against the others in exchange for escaping a potential death sentence. He is expected to plead guilty and is looking at a life term in prison.

With all the trials over, the Well Deserved is no longer needed as evidence and it will soon be released to the Hawks’ sons Ryan and Matt. The long range plan, Ryan Hawks has said, is to sell the yacht — not because of what happened to their parents aboard it, but because they are not at a point in their lives where they can afford or maintain the yacht.

Comments about this post can be directed to Newport Beach Criminal Defense Attorney William Weinberg at (949) 474-8008. William Weinberg represents clients throughout the Los Angeles area including clients charged with Kidnapping, Robbery, Murder and Aggravated Assault.