A Killer of Newport Beach Couple Tied To Yacht Anchor & Thrown Overboard Wins Legal Point

Categories: Court, Crime-iny
Jennifer DeLeon killer .jpg
Jennifer DeLeon, callous convicted killer has many complaints
The Ninth Circuit federal appellate court today handed a legal victory of sorts to the lone woman involved in the gruesome 2004 murder at sea of Thomas and Jackie Hawks in hopes of stealing the couple's 55-foot, Newport Beach-based yacht.

The panel ruled that U.S. District Court Judge Philip S. Gutierrez improperly dismissed a 2011 appeal by Jennifer Lynn Henderson (AKA Jennifer DeLeon), and they ordered her complaint of a tainted trial and conviction reinstated. 

Henderson is serving two consecutive life sentences without the possibility for parole for her role in the notorious crime that ended with the Hawks, a retired couple, tied to their yacht's anchor and tossed overboard alive in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast.

Sklyar DeLeon--Henderson's onetime husband, a former Mighty Morphin Power Rangers actor and mastermind of the crime--received the death penalty in Orange County Superior Court after acclaimed homicide prosecutor Matt Murphy and Newport Beach Police Department detectives presented their overwhelming evidence. 

(Two hoodlums--Alonso Machain and John Kennedy--were also convicted in the case that received widespread national TV attention.)

Henderson's complaints about her convictions include: introduction of inadmissible evidence, due process violations, prosecutorial errors and faulty jury instructions by Frank F. Fasel, one of the county's most respected judges who has since retired.

Justices at the California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana have already considered and rejected most of Henderson's complaints.

The 31-year-old killer, who was convicted by a jury in 2007, is presently residing inside the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla.

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11 comments
barrycovina
barrycovina

why is this psychotic person pleading due process ??

adriancollins_107
adriancollins_107

Out of the blue, I was thinking about this gruesome case, in the last 24 hours, for no particular reason, or so I thought.  So, it's ironic I should find this update here tonight.  Though I am nowhere near as articulate about this as 949girl is, I will say this.  If DeLeon was complicit with the perpetrators, she should remain locked up.

949girl
949girl topcommenter

I'm confused because if she was so evil and had full knowledge of the crime then why did the DA offer her immunity in the first place?  She was offered immunity and would have faced zero prison time if she had testified against Skylar etc.  Morally, if the DA thought she was so evil they never would have even considered bargaining with such a "monster" and having her on the streets to raise her children.  This is probably one of the scariest crimes I've heard about in OC  but I don't think she had full knowledge of what the other guys had planned.  Not saying she didn't know something illegal was going to happen, such as a robbery etc but I do not believe she knew two people were going to be thrown overboard alive, and I am pretty sure the DA knew the same as well because they wouldn't have offered her such a sweet deal in the first place.  Bottom line, she didn't cooperate and the DA will come after anyone who doesn't cooperate and are somewhat vengeful...Rachel Buffet to the the latest example.

ohmytegoddess
ohmytegoddess

I totally agree with Jack. Well said. I believe an eye for an eye should be how these people are put to death, and given about as much time to think about it as their victims. Sick sick people. For a boat a yacht an ocean liner, there is no excuse and if they were all present, then the punishment should be the same for all. 

JackGrimshaw
JackGrimshaw

Simple solution here ... have this piece of amoral garbage - excuse me, aggrieved plaintiff! - present her case in person on a boat five miles offshore from Newport Beach. The jury? Family and friends of the deceased couple. On hand ... a coupla heavy lengths of iron chain. The verdict? Splash!    

67Insider
67Insider

@949girl Jennifer had full knowledge, though she wasn't physically present on the boat when the Hawks were viciously thrown overboard alive.  The Hawks' personal belongings were found in plain view in the DeLeon's bedroom. Jennifer was also captured on bank surveillance, jovially trying to access the Hawks' $$$.  She is right where she belongs.

Rachel Buffet is no "latest example" of a DA vendetta either.  She fell egregiously short of being truthful with investigators regarding another particularly vicious double murder. I suppose it's natural for the criminal element to stick together and protect each other--but it doesn't fly well with the victim's families, or with law abiding citizens.

 If I know one thing about the DA's office, and Matt Murphy--it's that they are not about to waste time chasing down folks on trumped up, dubious charges.  There's enough on their plates.

JangoDavis
JangoDavis

@949girl Skylar Deloean killed before, over money SHE wanted more. She was an accessory to that mruder and knew very well what was going to happen to that couple if they went out alone with Skylar. And in fact, he called her from the yacht after the need was done.

She lucky she doesn't get the death penalty, so she should be happy with just two life sentences

949girl
949girl topcommenter

@67Insider @949girl Yes, you're right.  I didn't realize she knew everything that was going on.  She should never have been offered a deal in the first place.  I just saw some show profile this case on Investigation Discovery.  She's pretty evil.

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