Murder of Aurora’s Bennet family sentenced to life in prison

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ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo.– District Judge Darren Vahle sentenced Alex Christopher Ewing, age 61, to life in prison with the possible parole after twenty years for each of the murders of Bruce and Debra Bennett and their seven-year-old daughter in 1984.

Judge Vahle said to Ewing at the sentencing, “I have seen all kinds of evil and wickedness … nothing compares to the level of depravity that your actions show in this case. There is no punishment that is too harsh for you…and I will do everything in my power to make sure you never draw a free breath ever again.”  

Bruce, 27-years-old, and Debra, 26-years-old, had recently purchased a new home in Aurora in 1984 for their family of two children, Melissa, seven years old, and a younger sister, three years old. They had recently purchased a new home in Aurora for their young family, consisting of Melissa and a younger sister who was 3 years old.  

A stranger broke into the family’s home on January 15, 1984, attacking the family. Only the youngest daughter survived having sustained life-threatening injuries. 

The case was ruled as cold until 2018 when a DNA profile from the semen the murderer left at the scene was matched to Ewing. He was brought to Colorado to face trial. 

Chief Deputy District Attorney Garrik Storgaard told the jury that Ewing “massacred a family but left a key to his identity.”

He said, “There is no innocent explanation for how you explain all of the evidence.”

During the sentencing, members of both the Bennett and Large families submitted impact statements and came to the courtroom. A handful spoke in court, including the surviving daughter. 

“I didn’t just lose my parents and my sister,” she said. “I lost the person who I was supposed to be.” 

District Attorney John Kellner filed the murder charges against Ewing.

“This case impacted not just the victims, but it also terrorized an entire community,” Kellner said. “A life sentence feels too light, but that is the most the justice system can offer. Thankfully, this community, these families, and everyone impacted by the horrific crimes now knows this defendant will never hurt anyone ever again.” 

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