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Alex Ewing sentenced to life in prison for Lakewood murder in 'hammer killer' spree

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Posted at 1:17 PM, Apr 12, 2022

DENVER — Alex Ewing was sentenced on Tuesday to life in prison after a Jefferson County jury found him guilty for the decades-old murder of a Lakewood woman as part of the “Hammer Killer” spree.

On April 7, Ewing was found guilty of first-degree murder and first-degree felony murder for the killing of 50-year-old Patricia Smith on Jan. 10, 1984 in her home on Bayaud Avenue.

In court Tuesday, Smith’s family described her as a beloved mother, grandmother, neighbor, friend and vibrant member of the community.

“We can now go on to celebrate my mother’s beautiful life the way she would have wanted us to,” said Chery Lettin, Smith’s daughter.

In the first attempt at trying the case in October, a judge declared a mistrial after Ewing’s counsel asked for a competency evaluation.

Ewing was previously convicted in August for beating to death three members of the Bennett family in Arapahoe County six days before Smith’s murder. He was already sentenced to three consecutive life sentences for his conviction in that case.

It took decades for Ewing to be named as the suspect in both cases. Investigators matched a DNA profile linking Smith’s death and the deaths of the Bennetts in 2002 and Ewing’s DNA was matched to that profile in July 2018 when Nevada prison officials entered his DNA into a database. He was in prison at the time on attempted murder and burglary convictions.

Ewing’s additional life sentence will be served consecutively to the previous life sentences already handed down in Arapahoe County. He is currently incarcerated at the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility in Cañon City.