July 4, 2022

Alex Ewing faces various counts of 1st-diploma homicide within the killing of Patricia Louise Smith who was overwhelmed to demise with a hammer in 1984.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — Alex Christopher Ewing – convicted previous yr of the January 1984 hammer murders of three associates of an Aurora partner and youngsters – went on demo Wednesday for the rape and homicide of a lady that very same thirty day interval in Lakewood.

The 2 situations are inextricably related – transpiring 6 days apart, in properties that backed as much as open up place, the place victims have been bludgeoned with a hammer and sexually assaulted.

Within the demo that started Wednesday, Ewing, 62, faces many counts of initial-diploma homicide within the slaying of Patricia Louise Smith, an inside decorator who was crushed to demise with an automobile-human physique hammer within the townhome she shared along with her daughter and grandchildren.

A 2018 DNA hit led investigators to Ewing in each equally extended-unsolved killings.

A jury was seated simply forward of two p.m.– and prosecutors and safety attorneys laid out competing narratives of the which means of that DNA, which was extracted from semen discovered on Smith’s physique, the carpeting beneath it, and a blanket masking her.

Prosecutor Katharine Decker pressured its presence on and throughout Smith’s system – and the associated buying on the Bennett residence, wherever one of many victims, 7-12 months-outdated Melissa Bennett, was sexually assaulted.

“This circumstance will come down to 2 components – these two gadgets are semen, and similarities,” Decker talked about. “That’s because it’s semen and similarities that confirm it was the defendant who sexually assaulted and killed Patricia Smith on Jan. 10, 1984.”

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Protection lawyer Katherine Spengler, however, pressured that the newest screening failed to find Ewing’s DNA on the hammer – or on Smith’s clothes and boots, which ended up pulled off her total physique, and her purse and pockets, which investigators think about the killer rummaged on account of.

“He didn’t cope with that hammer,” Spengler reported, as Ewing sat close by. “He didn’t tear off her clothes previous to that rape, and he didn’t deal with her purse. Alex Ewing is innocent of the homicide of Patricia Smith and he’s innocent of her sexual assault.”

> Have a look at the complete opening statements listed right here:


Smith, 50, was astonished at dwelling as she ate a lunchtime hamburger on Jan. 10, 1984 – six days earlier than the murders in Aurora of Melissa Bennet and her dad and mother, Bruce and Debra Bennett. The couple’s younger daughter, then-3-yr-aged Vanessa, suffered important accidents however survived.

Related: Gentleman discovered accountable in 1984 hammer assaults is sentenced to life in jail – three events

An Arapahoe County jury discovered Ewing responsible of some counts of very first-diploma homicide within the Bennett killings, and the determine within the circumstance imposed three consecutive existence sentences – this implies he’ll die in jail.

Decker, the prosecutor, pressured the a number of similarities to the Bennett scenario – which Select Tamara Russell dominated jurors may take into accounts for the minimal operate of “identification, widespread put together or modus operandi.”

The killer is taken into account to have entered via open storage doorways in each conditions. The assailant dumped out and went via purses at each crime scenes. Each of these Smith and Melissa Bennett – who was additionally sexually assaulted – have been left on the bottom on their backs, in related states of undress, with blankets over their heads and their legs unfold aside. And while the homicide weapon was by no means found within the Bennett circumstance, all these who died suffered blunt drive accidents dependable with blows from a hammer.

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Related: ‘It’s been a very long time ready’: Connie Bennett sees justice 37 many years instantly after homicide of three partner and youngsters clients

The prosecution’s initially witness was Smith’s daughter, Chery Lettin. She advised jurors that she’d arrive to Colorado within the midst of a divorce, transferring from Nebraska along with her two younger young children. Her mom joined them to help her along with her young children as she acquired confirmed in a brand new metropolis.

The evening of Jan. 10, 1984, she knowledgeable the jury, she 1st feared something was mistaken when her mom was not at a park-and-experience ready for her when she arrived proper after get the job accomplished.

Instantly after contacting a cousin, Lettin defined discovering up her younger kids and heading to the townhome they shared, the place the lights have been off. She may see a tv in her mom’s mattress room flickering.

“I assumed that was actually unusual,” she acknowledged.

She defined to the jury what occurred up coming: “Opened the entrance door, and turned on the lightweight there that was within the entryway, and seen my mother there laying on the bottom most likely 6 toes away. … I understood she was lifeless.”

On the time Ewing was found as a suspect within the Bennett and Smith circumstances, he was serving a 110-year sentence for a late-evening ax cope with assault on a pair in Henderson that occurred about seven months quickly after the Colorado murders.

The DNA hit arrived instantly after Nevada jail officers commenced getting saliva from inmates and incorporating their genetic profiles to the FBI’s nationwide database, recognized as CODIS. It was there that it was matched to begin with to the Bennett murders after which to Smith’s killing.

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Communicate to 9News reporter Kevin Vaughan with tips on this or any story: [email protected] or 303-871-1862.

>> Undergo updates within the case at BLAME Podcast.

Over 12 days in January 1984, anyone with a hammer unleashed unspeakable violence in two tranquil Denver suburbs — killing 4 of us, beating two many others so savagely it was beautiful they survived and raping fairly just a few of his victims.

Related: Flight attendant who lived by 1984 hammer assault situated peace, even with out justice

The story of the assaults, the seek for a killer, and the stress and nervousness that gripped the survivors and altered each day life within the Denver metro spot is the matter of a 9Desires to Know investigative podcast.


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