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4th Arrest in Case of Pair Who Vanished

Three have been charged with killing the retirees, who were selling their yacht in Newport Beach.

March 11, 2005|Jeff Gottlieb | Times Staff Writer

Newport Beach police on Thursday arrested a fourth suspect in the presumed murder of a couple last seen taking a prospective buyer of their yacht on a test cruise from Newport Harbor.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 39, of Long Beach was arrested while driving in that city, officials said. Long Beach police assisted with the arrest.

Three other men were charged March 4 with murdering Jackie and Thomas Hawks. Police say the couple were last seen Nov. 15 at Newport Harbor, where they met Skylar Deleon, 25, of Long Beach to discuss the sale of their 55-foot yacht.

Authorities believe the retired couple were killed at sea. Deleon told police he bought the boat for $400,000 cash.

Newport Beach police would provide no details as to Kennedy's role in the case, saying the investigation was continuing. Sgt. Steve Shulman said other suspects may be arrested.

Police have said that on Nov. 24, Deleon went to Prescott, Ariz., the Hawkses' hometown, and tried to gain access to their bank account using a document giving him power of attorney.

Two days later, Deleon left the couple's Honda CR-V at a home in Ensenada, Mexico, police said. In Ensenada, authorities said, Deleon tried the same scheme to gain access to the Hawkses' Arizona bank account.

Deleon was arrested in Long Beach on unrelated theft charges Dec. 16, the same day the car was found in Mexico.

The other two men charged in the case are Alonso Machain, 21, of Pico Rivera and Myron Gardner, 41, of Long Beach. Deleon, Machain and Gardner are held without bail at Orange County Jail. Kennedy is held without bail at Newport Beach City Jail.

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