CENTENNIAL — A former Nevada prison inmate has been convicted of first-degree murder in the 1984 hammer and knife slayings of three members of a Colorado family, including a 7-year-old girl.

Alex Ewing, 60, was found guilty of all counts Friday by an Arapahoe County jury, The Denver Post reports. The verdicts come after DNA evidence pointed to Ewing as a suspect in the long-unsolved slayings.

Prosecutors alleged that Ewing used a hammer and a knife to kill Bruce Bennett, 27, his wife, Debra, 26, and their daughter Melissa inside the Bennetts’ Aurora home. Another daughter, 3-year-old Vanessa, was severely injured but survived.

Ewing’s attorneys argued that the prosecution’s evidence had been tainted over the decades and that one person alone couldn’t have committed the crime.

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 was linked with DNA developed from evidence taken from the scenes of the Colorado killings.

Ewing is also charged with the killing of Patricia Louise Smith in Lakewood, another Denver suburb, about a week before the Aurora murders. His trial in that case is set for October.

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