A lawyer is arguing that a Nevada prison inmate facing death penalty charges in four Denver-area killings in 1984 should have been given a lawyer to help him fight extradition.

Nevada Supreme Court documents filed this week say a judge rejected Alexander Christopher Ewing's request last October for an appointed attorney and ordered Ewing transferred in custody to Colorado.

Ewing's extradition has been delayed pending his appeal.

Attorney Martin Wiener of Reno represents Ewing. He declined Wednesday to comment.

Ewing is 58. He's been in prison in Nevada since 1984 for attacking a Las Vegas-area couple after escaping while being transported to Arizona on an attempted murder charge.

Colorado authorities say DNA links him to the slayings of Patricia Louise Smith in Lakewood and three members of a family in Aurora.

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Original Story: Investigators in Colorado have charged a Nevada inmate with killing a woman and a family of three, including a 7-year-old girl, with a hammer in attacks in suburban Denver more than 30 years ago.

Law enforcement officials announced Friday that Alexander Christopher Ewing is being transferred from a Nevada prison to face charges in the 1984 slayings of Patricia Louise Smith in the Denver suburb of Lakewood and three members of the Bennett family in nearby Aurora.

He is also suspected of sexually assaulting the children.

Ewing is serving a sentence at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center for attacking a couple with an ax handle near Las Vegas in 1984 after escaping from deputies in an Arizona case.

The two cases were tied together by DNA evidence in 2002.

"Scientists were able to establish that the profile in the Smith homicide matched the DNA profile that had been obtained nine years earlier in the Bennett homicide, confirming a link that investigators had long suspected in those cases," says John Camper, Colorado Bureau of Investigation. 

Ewing won't be eligible for parole in Nevada until 2021.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt released this statement: 

"From leading a statewide initiative to test Nevada’s nearly 8,000 backlogged sexual assault kits, to ensuring that DNA samples could be lawfully obtained from eligible convicted felons in Nevada prisons, I remain a strong believer that law enforcement should never quit in the pursuit of justice for victims. Cases like these are the reason that from the day I was sworn in, I made forensic testing of DNA a top priority for law enforcement in Nevada. I am so proud of my office’s hard work on forensic DNA testing that continues to bear fruit. I commend the district attorneys and investigators in Colorado for their relentless pursuit of justice for these cold case victims and their families.” 

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)