Alex Ewing case ,The trial in the case of Alex Ewing in a nearly 40-year-old Lakewood, Colorado murder case started on Wednesday with the familiar opening statement by the prosecution and requests from defence for an additional mistrial, and following that, the court to change venue.
District Judge Tamara Russell rejected that, also, when testimony began during the second Jefferson County trial of Ewing who is being accused of the sexual assault and murder of Patricia Smith on Jan. 10, 1984, in an assault that was brutal in a 12 day period by the known as the “Hammer Killer.”
The Arapahoe County jury in summer was found guilty Ewing of killing three members of the Aurora family in the course of those attacks. His October trial for murder charges Smith was an unconclusive verdict after his lawyers asked that his mental capacity be assessed. This mental health problem was resolved at the end of this year, according to court documents.
For the second trial the Chief Deputy District Attorney Katharine Decker made the same arguments, stressing the significance of “semen and similarities” in her opening statement on Wednesday. She emphasized the DNA evidence that links Ewing to semen discovered on Smith’s body, as well as inside her room.
The DNA matches to Ewing as he served an indefinite sentence at the time in Nevada as a result of an attempted murder following beating the couple with an axe handle during August of 1984.
“After nearly 40 years, they have a match,” Decker said to the jury.
Decker also spent significant parts of her opening statements analyzing her testimony on the murders committed by Melissa, Debra and Bruce Bennett in Aurora on Jan. 16 in 1984. Ewing received life sentences with a number of similarities to both the Bennett and Smith cases.
Both of the attacks occurred at residences where garage doors were left open, in both cases. Melissa Bennett and Smith were murdered with hammer blows to the head. Then, they were sexually assaulted.
The defense claimed that although the semen DNA could be a match to Ewing but the so-called “touch” DNA found on “critical items” in the case had not excluded Ewing as a possible suspect. The DNA that was found in the hand of the hammer which killed Smith as well as the evidence found on her clothes did not match Ewing the public lawyer Katherine Powers Spengler said.
She argued that the prosecution had been ignoring this evidence to come to “a quick, simple fix.”
“The prosecution needs you to think this is a simple case,” Spengler stated in arguing that the state wanted jurors not to consider physical evidence , which she said had ruled Ewing out.
Spengler closed the opening testimony by urging jurors to not be an “cemented mind of a quick fix” like the defense.
“There is no question that this case represents the tragic loss of Patricia Smith,” Spengler declared, arguing that the person who committed the crime must be held accountable because of the DNA found on the handle of the hammer.
“And that DNA, that is not Alex Ewing’s DNA,” she explained.
The prosecutor pointed out that the absence in Ewing’s genetic DNA on the hammer does not necessarily mean that he didn’t utilize it. He may have been wearing gloves.
Before the opening statements Ewing’s defense team requested an indefinite delay due to the statements made by potential jurors that the defense stated could have led to bias within the panel. The judge rejected the motion to mistrial, and instead continued the jury selection process.
The defense made a motion to request an alteration of venue, argumentating that Ewing could not receive a fair trial Jefferson County — but the judge denied it, too.
The first witness who testified for that state of affairs was Chery Lettin. She recounted the trauma of searching for her mother in the morning on the day of her death at their home.
The trial of Ewing is expected to take between two and three weeks.