‘Hammer Killer’ sentenced to life in prison for Denver murder spree

Posted at 5:01 PM, April 12, 2022 and last updated 5:01 PM, April 12, 2022

By: Blayke Roznowski

DENVER (KMGH) – 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.

Alex Ewing (Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office)

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.

Patricia Smith was killed at her home in Lakewood in January 1984. (Colorado Bureau of Investigation via KMGH)

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.

This story was originally published April 12, 2022 by KMGH in Denver, an E.W. Scripps Company.

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