A Moving Love Story, Drowned by Greed

Court testimony recounts terrifying final hours of Tom and Jackie Hawks' lives.

ByABC News
October 16, 2008, 8:35 AM

October 16, 2008 — -- 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.

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.