Former child actor Skylar Deleon has been found guilty of three counts of murder after killing a couple for their life savings.

Deleon, best-known for his role in U.S. kids TV series Power Rangers, pleaded guilty to the murder of Tom and Jackie Hawks at the start of his trial in California - and now faces the death penalty for his crime.

He tied the pair to an anchor before tossing them into sea off Newport Beach, California as part of a plot to steal the couple's $500,000 yacht and their life savings.

Deleon was also found guilty of killing a man, John Jarvi, he met in 2003 while serving jail time for burglary - after a judge consolidated the cases.

During the trial, the court heard how Deleon and two other men, John F. Kennedy and Alonso Machain, conned the couple into believing they were prospective buyers of the yacht and sailed out with the Hawks' from Newport Harbor in November 2004.

The three men then overpowered the couple, handcuffing them and covering their eyes and mouths with duct tape before forcing them to sign and fingerprint title transfer documents for the yacht. Machain, who testified for the prosecution, told how the terrified couple were then tied to the boat's anchor and lowered into the sea. Their bodies were never found. Machain and Kennedy will face trial at a later date.

The actor pleaded guilty in a bid to escape the death sentence. Jurors will start deliberations over Deleon's sentence on Wednesday (22Oct08). (CL//LR)

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