The man accused and who pleaded guilty in the 1993 rape and killing of 92-year-old Grace Mae Odle in Ogden Utah, 40-year-old Stephen Ellenwood, received life in prison for aggravated murder on Tuesday.
It was about 2am on May 3, 1993 that Ellenwood climbed through a window at an Ogden retirement home before sexually assaulting Odle and beating her.
Ellenwood was interrupted as he was getting dressed by an employee at the Adams Place Retirement Home who was looking in on Odle. Ellenwood escaped wearing only his jeans according to cold case files. Although Ellenwood was possibly seen about two blocks away from the crime scene, and matched the description of another attack that night, he was never apprehended or charged at that time.
Ogle would die from her injuries in a Utah hospital six days later.
Ellenwood would have a series of run-ins with the law after that incident. He was convicted six months later of carrying a concealed weapon in November of 1993, and pled out to a aggravated assault in 1994. In Idaho, Ellenwood would be convicted of DUI in 2004 and 2007. He was released from jail there in 2008.
Ellenwood and his girlfriend moved to Haines in 2012 where he worked at a liquor store before being fired from that job.
It took twenty years for technology to advance and a DNA match made with evidence at the scene of the murder.
Ellenwood was located in Haines and Alaska State Troopers were notified of the warrant for Ellenwood and showed up at his home in 2013. When attempting to contact him, Ellenwood fled into the woods. But, troopers caught up to him and placed him under arrest. Ellenwood was extradited back to Utah to face charges.
At sentencing, a fidgety Ellenwood listened as Second District Court Judge W. Brent West handed down the punishment on Tuesday. Judge West said as he was handing down his decision, “It is the order of the court that you be sentenced to a term of life imprisonment, I understand that this carries with it the possibility of parole. But Judge West continued saying, “But, I think you are the type of person, that unfortunately, needs to be locked up in a situation for the rest of your life and that will be my recommendation to the Board of Pardons.”
On that note, Ellenwood left the courtroom to begin his sentence.