Ex-Nevada inmate on trial in 2nd hammer killing in Colorado

Colorado News

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — A former Nevada prison inmate convicted this summer of killing three members of a Colorado family in 1984 is on trial for killing a woman about a week earlier in suburban Denver.

During opening statements in Alex Ewing’s trial Tuesday, prosecutor Katharine Decker told jurors that there were numerous similarities between the killings of Bruce and Debra Bennett and their 7-year-old daughter Melissa in Aurora and the killing of Patricia Smith in Lakewood six days earlier on Jan. 10, 1984. All the victims suffered blunt-force trauma associated with a hammer being used, for example, she said, The Denver Post reported.

However, Ewing’s attorney, Katherine Powers Spengler, said that some critical pieces of evidence had been contaminated and compromised since the killing nearly 40 years ago and that the DNA found on certain items of clothing do not match Ewing’s.

Ewing, 61, was identified as a suspect in both cases in 2018 through DNA evidence while imprisoned in Nevada, where he was convicted of attacking a couple in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson in 1984 with an ax handle in their bedroom. The results of a DNA sample taken from Ewing were linked with DNA eventually developed from evidence from the killings.

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