ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – Following closing arguments Thursday, a jury found Alex Ewing guilty of murder on Friday.
Ewing attacked the Bennett family with a hammer inside their Aurora home back in 1984.
Melissa Bennett, 7, was violently raped and killed. Her parents, Bruce and Deborah Bennett, were also killed. The 3-year-old sister, Vanessa, was the only survivor.
The court convicted Ewing of three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of felony murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree theft, theft, and sexual assault.
In closing arguments Thursday, the defense stated Ewing didn’t commit the crimes and that there was other DNA found at the scene that was not tied to him. The defense argued there is reasonable doubt because the state ignored around 13 pieces of evidence and no fingerprints found at the scene pointed to Ewing.
Prosecutors said Ewing was probably wearing gloves. They also said Ewing lived just two main streets away from the Bennett home, and the way he repeatedly beat the family member’s skulls showed his intent and that he committed the crime after consideration.
Prosecutors told the jury Ewing’s DNA was found on the carpet under the 7-year-old girl who was raped and killed. His DNA was also found on the blanket covering her.
The so-called “hammer killings” terrorized the entire Denver area at the time. Five people were killed in a 12-day period.
After almost four decades, investigators were able to pin Ewing to the Bennett murders using DNA found at the scene.
According to the Associated Press, Ewing had been in prison in Nevada since 1984 for attacking a Las Vegas-area couple after escaping while being transported to Arizona on an attempted murder charge.