CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) — The trial for Alex Ewing, the man accused of using a hammer to kill four people in Aurora, continues Monday nearly four decades after the slayings. Jury selection began Friday in the trial for the deaths of Bruce and Debra Bennett and their 7-year-old daughter Melissa in Aurora in January 1984.

Alex Christopher Ewing in arapahoe county court

(credit: CBS)

The Bennett’s 3-year-old daughter, Vanessa, was severely injured but survived.

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Ewing is also charged with killing Patricia Louise Smith in Lakewood about a week before the Bennett murders. He is scheduled to go on trial in that case in October.

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(credit: Bennett family)

Ewing was identified as a suspect in 2018 through DNA evidence while in prison in Nevada, where he was convicted of attacking a couple with an ax handle in their bedroom. The results of a DNA sample taken from Ewing in was entered into a national database and linked with DNA developed from evidence taken from the scenes of the Colorado killings.

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Patricia Louise Smith (credit: CBS)

Ewing fought extradition but was sent to Colorado to face the charges last year. He has pleaded not guilty.

Jennifer McRae