August 19, 2005

Ex-child actor, wife, charged in second murder

By Tori Richards

NEWPORT BEACH, California (Reuters) - A former child actor
already facing trial for hijacking a yacht and throwing the
owners overboard, bound to the anchor, has been charged in a
second murder, prosecutors said on Friday.

Skylar James Deleon, 26, who once appeared in the "Power
Rangers" TV series, was accused in the second case of luring a
man to Mexico in December of 2003, slitting his throat and
leaving the body by the side of a road.

His wife, Jennifer, and cousin Michael William Lewis, both
24, were charged with helping conceal the murder of 45-year-old
John Jarvi.

Police linked the Deleons to Jarvi's unsolved murder after
finding that he had been incarcerated with the one-time child
actor at the Seal Beach City Jail in 2003, Orange County Deputy
District Attorney Susan Schroeder said.

Schroeder said that the day before the murder Jarvi had
cashed two $25,000 checks and made a phone call to Deleon.

Two hours after the call, she said, Deleon spent $18,000 in
new $100 bills at a boatyard and deposited $21,000 into a joint
account with his wife. He also bought a $2,200 wedding band for
her, Schroeder said.

Defense attorneys for the Deleons declined to comment,
saying that they had not yet seen details of the accusations.

The charges were announced just three days after the
Deleons were ordered to stand trial for the murders of a
Newport Beach couple, Thomas and Jackie Hawks, who vanished in
November of 2004 and whose bodies have never been found.

Also charged in that case, which baffled police for months
as they searched for the missing couple, are 40-year-old Crips
gang member John Fitzgerald Kennedy and ex-jailer Alonso
Machain, 21.

Prosecutors say the Deleons posed as interested buyers of
the 55-foot (17 meter) yacht and convinced the Hawks to take
the vessel on a test run.

Miles off the coast of Newport Beach, prosecutors say,
Thomas and Jackie Hawks were attacked with a stun gun,
handcuffed and gagged with duct tape. After signing over power
of attorney to one assailant, they were tied to the boat's
66-pound (30-kg) anchor and thrown overboard.

The couple was reported missing by relatives and police
were led to the Deleons, who produced a bill of sale for the
yacht and the power of attorney. Authorities believe the bill
of sale was falsified.

Police also found that Deleon had unsuccessfully tried to
access the Hawks' bank account using the power of attorney.