Nevada inmate linked to 1984 hammer killing cold cases in Colorado
A Nevada inmate who used to be convicted of attacking a pair with an ax maintain is now connected to the 1984 killings of 4 individuals who had been overwhelmed with a hammer in two separate assaults in suburban Denver, government mentioned.
Alexander Christopher Ewing, 57, used to be known because the suspect within the deaths of Patricia Smith — killed on Jan. 10, 1984 — and Bruce and Debra Bennett and their 7-year-old daughter Melissa, who had been discovered lifeless on Jan. 16, 1984, police introduced on Friday. Ewing, who has a prison historical past relationship again to 1979, has been serving a 70-year sentence in Nevada Division of Corrections.
Ewing used to be connected to the chilly circumstances greater than 30 years later after DNA proof tied the convict to the murders.
“Make no mistake, DNA is what brings us right here nowadays,” district lawyer George Brauchler mentioned, consistent with the Denver Post.
In 1984, Smith used to be consuming lunch when she used to be overwhelmed with a hammer and raped in her rental in Lakewood, Colo. A hammer used to be situated on the place of dwelling. Detectives on the time stored the carpet beneath Smith’s frame and picked up hair and fiber samples on the scene. Swabs of the attacker’s semen left on Smith used to be additionally taken and stored.
Six days later, the Bennetts had been attacked at their house in Aurora in a an identical taste. Melissa and her Three-year-old sister, Vanessa, had been overwhelmed with a hammer and raped. Vanessa, now 38, survived the assault and persisted a number of operations and bodily remedy.
Detectives running if that’s the case accumulated the women’ comforter and likewise minimize the carpet the place Melissa’s frame left. They took swabs of Melissa’s frame to gather the killer’s semen, Denver Submit reported.
In 2001, investigators started gaining traction at the circumstances when the primary set of DNA proof from the comforter and Bennett’s carpet pattern had been uploaded to an FBI database. A 12 months later, prosecutors filed fees towards a John Doe suspect within the Bennett murders.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation evolved a DNA profile within the Smith killing that matched the Bennett case in 2010. And in July, below a 2013 state regulation that permits DNA sampling of inmates, Nevada government swabbed the interior of Ewing’s cheek and entered the ends up in the nationwide database. A regimen seek of databases confirmed a conceivable DNA fit to Ewing.
The news “despatched a relax via my backbone,” mentioned John Camper, director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Prosecutors are asking Ewing to be extradited to Colorado the place he may face the dying penalty. The inmate has been in jail because the 1984 after he escaped police custody whilst being transported in Kingman, Ariz. He entered a house and significantly beat a lady and her husband. Police arrested Ewing two days later.
Ewing used to be interviewed via Colorado investigators final week after the DNA fit to the 1984 crime scenes. When Ewing used to be proven a photograph of Smith from the homicide scene, he “jumped again in his chair” and stared at it, the paperwork state.
“Alex Ewing gave the impression surprised and when faced about his DNA being discovered on the scene of the homicide, he mentioned, ‘There may be were given to be a mistake,’ and supplied no rationalization of ways his DNA could have been on the scene,” Detective Clayton Fuller wrote in an arrest affidavit within the case.
The Related Press contributed to this file.