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Accused killer attempts to sever own penis in O.C. jail

July 12, 2008|David Reyes | Times Staff Writer

Skylar Deleon, charged with murdering an Arizona couple at sea, tried to cut off his penis with a razor blade while in Orange County Men's Central Jail awaiting trial, sheriff's officials said Friday.

Deleon, 29, was hospitalized after the March 13 incident. His penis was reattached and he was returned to jail the next day, said Damon Micalizzi, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

"Somehow he got a hold of a razor blade and tried to saw off his penis, but didn't complete the job," Micalizzi said.

Jail officials don't know how Deleon got the razor, which could have been taken into the jail, Micalizzi said. Hand razors are provided to inmates for shaving but they are modified to prevent the blades from being removed, he said.

"We do know there was a lot of blood and it was quite a scene. But from what I know, he didn't finish his task, and maybe it was too painful and that made him stop," Micalizzi said.

At the time, Deleon was in a mental health ward at the jail in Santa Ana. He did not have a cellmate.

Deleon's trial is set for Aug. 25.

Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty against Deleon for the 2004 murders of Jackie and Thomas Hawks of Prescott, Ariz.

The couple, trying to sell their yacht, took Deleon and three other men on a test cruise of their 55-foot yacht off the Southern California coast, authorities have said.

Prosecutors said Deleon and the others forced the couple to sign transfer-of-title and power-of-attorney documents, then chained them to an anchor and tossed them overboard, alive, off Newport Beach. They are presumed to have drowned. Their bodies have not been found.

Deleon's wife, Jennifer, was convicted in the crime. She was sentenced in October to two consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole for participating in the plot to kill the retired couple.

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david.reyes@latimes.com

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