Con Man Gets Life for Killing Elderly Investor, Dumping Body at Sea
SANTA ANA, Calif. (KTLA) -- A businessman has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for murdering an elderly investor who was lured to Orange County to cash in on a $1 Million deal.

Gary A. Shawkey, 47, was found guilty in June of one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain, one felony count of grand theft.

Between January 2004 and February 2008, Shawkey stole approximately $1.2 million from Robert Vendrick, a 71-year-old retired Phoenix man who had worked in the software industry.

Prosecutors say Shawkey convinced the victim, 71-year old Robert Vendrick to invest in a new venture involving the development of 'top secret computer software' for the federal government.

Shawkey had Vendrick wire $100,000 to a bank account and told Vendrick to fly to Orange County to meet with federal agents to finalize the project," according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.

Shawkey purchased a 23-foot sailboat and convinced Vendrick to sail with him to San Clemente Island to meet with federal agents.

The two boarded the boat and sailed out of Dana Point Harbor.

Shawkey and the boat returned.

But Vendrick was never seen again.

Prosecutors say sometime between Feb. 14, 2008, and Feb. 24, 2008, Shawkey murdered Vendrick and disposed of the body in the ocean.