News Releases

July 19, 2019: Man Sentenced to LWOP for 2010 Home Invasion Murders

Contact: 
Paul Eakins, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A 62-year-old man was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for killing four people during home invasion robberies in 2010, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

John Wesley Ewell of Los Angeles was given four consecutive LWOP sentences by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench.

Ewell pleaded no contest to four counts of first-degree murder and four counts of first-degree residential robbery on May 15 in a negotiated plea agreement. He additionally admitted a special circumstance allegation of murder during a residential robbery.

Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace of the Major Crimes Division prosecuted case BA400028.

On Sept. 24, 2010, Ewell broke into the Hawthorne home of 80-year-old Hanna Marcos, whom he choked and hit before robbing the house. Marcos died of a heart attack as a result of his injuries.

On Oct. 13, 2010, the defendant broke into the Los Angeles residence of Denice Roberts, 53, and strangled her to death during a robbery. The home was near where Ewell was living at the time in the 12600 block of Hoover Street.

On Oct. 22, 2010, he broke into the Hawthorne home of Leamon Turnage, 69, and his wife Robyn Turnage, 57, robbing the house and then killing the couple by strangling and hitting them. Their house was a few blocks from Marcos’ residence.

Ewell was arrested within days of the last attack after he was caught on video using Robyn Turnage’s ATM card.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau, the Hawthorne Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Department.