Murder Suspect Faces New Charge
A former child actor facing trial in the deaths of two yacht owners will be arraigned Monday on a charge that he killed a man he had befriended while in the Seal Beach city jail.
A charge of murder-for-profit was filed Thursday against Skylar Julius DeLeon, 26, of Long Beach, accusing him of slashing the throat of pilot and jewelry maker Jon Peter Jarvi, 45, in Mexico in December 2003. DeLeon’s cousin Michael W. Lewis Jr., 24, of Oatman, Ariz., was arrested Thursday on suspicion of being an accomplice and will be extradited to Orange County.
DeLeon’s wife, who is also a defendant in the slayings at sea last year of the Newport Beach yacht owners, has been charged with being an accessory after the fact in Jarvi’s killing. Both are being held without bond at Orange County Jail. Jarvi had finished a four-month federal sentence for counterfeiting days before his death, and soon netted $50,000 after pawning his van and refinancing his Tustin condominium, said Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Matt Murphy.
DeLeon met Jarvi while serving a one-year term for an Anaheim burglary at the Seal Beach jail, Murphy said. He spent nights there, but was allowed out during the day on a work furlough program.
Jarvi told his mother Dec. 26 that he was going to Mexico on a “no-lose” business deal, then went to his bank and cashed two $25,000 checks, Murphy said. Later that day, police say, DeLeon paid $18,000 in $100 bills to a Costa Mesa boatyard to refit his 26-foot cabin cruiser, deposited about $21,000 in cash in a bank account and bought a $2,200 diamond wedding band for his wife.
The next day, prosecutors believe, DeLeon, Lewis and Jarvi drove to Mexico. Jarvi’s body was found that afternoon near Ensenada. DeLeon returned late that night to the Seal Beach jail and was allowed in by jailer Alonso Machain. Detectives tracked DeLeon’s movements through phone calls he had made to his wife, Murphy said. Machain, 21, of Pico Rivera, is another defendant with the DeLeons in the killings of Tom and Jackie Hawks, a retired couple from Arizona who had docked their boat in Newport Harbor and were reported missing in November.
The DeLeons were ordered Tuesday to stand trial in the couple’s deaths after a two-day preliminary hearing that focused on Machain’s statements to police that he, Skylar DeLeon and another man threw the Hawkses into the ocean so they could steal their 55-foot vessel, the Well Deserved. The Hawkses’ bodies have not been found.