CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – Prosecutors and the defense team made their closing arguments Thursday in the trial of Alex Ewing, a man accused of killing an Aurora family with a hammer in 1984. Advancements in DNA evidence led investigators to a match with Ewing and samples collected from the crime scene as well as one of the victims 34 years later.
On the night of Jan. 15, 1984, the Bennett family left their garage door open. Bruce and Debra Bennett lived with their daughter Melissa and younger daughter, Vanessa. In just two days, Melissa would turn 8 years old. All four of them were attacked inside the home that night, only Vanessa survived.READ MORE: 2 People Shot, Another Killed Outside Broomfield Walgreens
Bruce and Debra were brutally attacked and killed inside their home, Melissa was killed and also raped. Bruce’s mother would discover the family the next day inside the home, after no one answered calls to their landline.
Prosecutors said there was not an innocent explanation for Ewing’s semen found at the crime scene, including inside Melissa. They also compared the case to another murder where a woman, Patricia Smith of Lakewood, was also murdered with a hammer earlier that same month. In that homicide, DNA evidence was found matching Ewing.READ MORE: Crash On I-70 In Wheat Ridge Causes Large Traffic Backup
The defense team challenged the value of the evidence presented by prosecutors and said there were additional items of evidence they disregarded. They pointed to items that were either not tested by investigators or not presented by prosecutors. They also said there were additional witnesses who could have been called by prosecutors. The evidence that was not focused on could have helped show that Ewing was not responsible for the crimes or that others were involved in the murders.
Both sides spent the morning presenting closing arguments before the case went to the jury for deliberations. In the afternoon, the jurors sent questions to attorneys two separate times but were told by the judge they had all the evidence in front of them to consider for a verdict.
Late in the day, the jury foreman informed the judge that they were at an impasse and that more time would not help them resolve this issue. When the jury was called in by the judge, he asked if taking the night off and resuming in the morning would help, the foreman said she was unsure it would make a difference.MORE NEWS: I-70 Eastbound Closed For Fatal Crash East Of Eagle
The judge asked the jury to go home and return in the morning to review the evidence again. Deliberations are set to resume at 8:30 a.m. on Friday.