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Man convicted of killing victim on sailboat, dumping body off Southern California coast

June 21, 2011 |  9:31 pm

Gary Shawkey A Virginia man was convicted Tuesday of luring a 71-year-old man onto a sailboat, killing him and dumping his body in the ocean after leaving Dana Point Harbor.

Robert Vendrick, a retired software industry worker, was lured onto the 23-foot sailboat by Gary A. Shawkey under the pretense of meeting federal agents as part of a bogus investment deal, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Shawkey, 47, had convinced Vendrick to wire $100,000 to a bank account and told the victim that they would finalize the deal -- a top-secret government computer software program -- with the federal agents on the boat, prosecutors said.

Instead, Shawkey killed Vendrick in February 2008 and dumped his body into the ocean, according to prosecutors.

Shawkey, a resident of Mechanicsville, Va., is scheduled to be sentenced July 22 at the Santa Ana courthouse. He faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.


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-- Robert J. Lopez
Twitter: @LAJourno

Photo: Gary A. Shawkey. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office