A Moving Love Story, Drowned by Greed

In an undated photo posted on a Web site memorializing the late-in-life love affair between Thomas Hawks and his wife Jackie, the couple's lips are locked in a kiss.

He has one tanned, muscled arm draped over her shoulder. His other grips the steering wheel of a boat as the rushing wind blows back their hair. The sea beneath them is turquoise and the sky is as bright and wide open as the life friends and family say the Arizona couple built together.

It's an iconic image, one that captures everything the couple loved about life -- the sun, the sea, each other.

They had no idea at the time that one day soon they would be blindfolded, beaten, shackled to the anchor of their own beloved yacht, and dragged to their deaths beneath that same shimmering, turquoise sea.

The abject horror of the final moments of the Hawkses' lives was recounted Wednesday in a tense California courtroom filled with friends and family of the late couple, narrated by one of their killers.

Click here to see a slideshow of Thomas and Jackie Hawks' pictures.

'Yanked' to Their Deaths

Skylar Deleon, 29, is on trial for masterminding the Hawks' murders so he could get their boat, a 55-foot yacht named Well-Deserved.

In gut-wrenching detail, alleged accomplice Alonso Machain, a cooperating witness for the prosecution, told jurors that he, Deleon and a third man overpowered the couple, handcuffed them to the anchor and sent them hurtling to their deaths.

"They were basically yanked -- yanked into the ocean,'' Machain told Orange County jurors Wednesday, as tears welled up in the eyes of the Hawks' friends and family in the courtroom gallery.

Deleon and the other men then turned the boat around and began an hour-long trip back to the shore, according to testimony. One cracked open a beer, and one of the men grabbed a fishing pole and "started fishing,'' Machain testified.

'Power Rangers' Actor Pleaded Not Guilty to Murder

Deleon, 29, a child actor from the 1990s television series "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," has pleaded not guilty to murder charges, but in opening statements last week his lawyer stunned the courtroom by admitting Deleon had killed the couple.

The attorney, Gary Pohlson, told jurors that he hoped they would spare his client from the death penalty if they found him guilty. He also promised to show how Deleon's former wife, Jennifer Deleon, 27, was at least equally culpable of the crimes.

Jennifer Deleon was tried and convicted for murdering Thomas and Jackie Hawks and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in a separate 2006 trial.

Machain is cooperating with the prosecution in a deal to avoid the death penalty, and an alleged co-conspirator named John Fitzgerald Kennedy is awaiting trial. A fourth man alleged to be involved, Adam Rohrig, was not on the boat when the alleged murders took place and is not expected to face charges.

Skylar Deleon is also facing murder charges in an unrelated killing in 2003. Pohlson acknowledged in opening statements last week that his client also killed Jon Peter Jarvi, who police say had his throat slashed in a Mexican desert after Jarvi reportedly handed over $50,000 to Deleon for a bogus "can't-miss" investment. Deleon is on trial for all three murders.

The two cases are being tried together because some of the same witnesses are expected to be called.

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