Ewing found competent to stand trial

New trial for suspected “hammer killer” set for March 2022

Bob Wooley
bwooley@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 11/28/21

In August, an Arapahoe County jury found Alex Ewing, 61, guilty of the 1984 Aurora killings of Bruce, Debra and Melissa Bennett.  Ewing was also scheduled to stand trial in Jefferson County for the …

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Ewing found competent to stand trial

New trial for suspected “hammer killer” set for March 2022

Posted

In August, an Arapahoe County jury found Alex Ewing, 61, guilty of the 1984 Aurora killings of Bruce, Debra and Melissa Bennett. 

Ewing was also scheduled to stand trial in Jefferson County for the 1984 sexual assault and murder of Patricia Smith of Lakewood, last month.

But just one day into the Jeffco trial, Ewings’ lawyers requested a mistrial, to allow for an evaluation of his mental competence. 

The statutory process to determine competency is for the court to order the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP) to prepare an evaluation. In this case, the evaluation was performed by two licensed psychologists.

According to the Jeffco DA’s office, CMHIP provided the court and interested parties a report finding Ewing competent to stand trial on Nov. 11. The finding was not contested.

On Nov. 15, Russell formally entered a finding that Ewing is competent to proceed and set the jury trial to begin on March 25, 2022.

Ewing was serving time in an Arizona prison when a DNA match linked him to the Bennett and Smith cases that had gone unsolved for decades. The Bennett case had been the subject of national attention in 1984 due to the gruesome nature of the crimes. The victims, including 7-year-old Melissa, were bludgeoned to death with a hammer.

Alex Ewing, murder, Lakewood Colorado, Patricia Smith, mentalk illness

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