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Clyde Ewing Sentenced To Life Without Parole For First-Degree Murder By District Judge Gaskill

Justin Coleman | Nez Perce County Prosecutor

Clyde Ewing learned his fate today in Nez Perce County District Court for the killing of Sam Johns. Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor April Smith asked District Court Judge Jay Gaskill to sentence Mr. Ewing to prison for Life without Parole. In the sentencing hearing, Deputy Smith presented evidence of Mr. Ewing’s violent past to include 26 different criminal arrests, two prior violent felony convictions for Aggravated Assault, and one conviction for Grand Theft. Prior to being sentenced, the court ordered a pre-sentence investigation into Mr. Ewing. Deputy Smith stated Mr. Ewing failed to participate or take any responsibility for his actions in this horrible murder. While in jail, Mr. Ewing has had multiple disciplinary issues for not following the rules.


In the end, Mr. Ewing’s long past of criminal behavior concluded with the conviction by a jury of his peers for the killing of Sam Johns over a backpack. In court, Judge Gaskill was reminded Mr. Ewing and his son rode their bikes from the Hacienda Hotel in Clarkston and to the victim’s house in Lewiston. They entered the victim’s house with zip-tie handcuffs and a stolen handgun. When they entered, they were dressed in all black with masks and gloves. In the house, the victim’s family and friends were visiting. After Mr. Johns was shot his mother tried to save him, but instead, she watched the life leave her sons body.

Deputy Smith contended that Mr. Ewing is a risk to society and if he ever leaves prison, he will be threat to anyone he comes in contact with. Mr. Ewing has shown a repetitive behavior of breaking the law, devaluing people in society, hostile and defiant behavior, and lack of remorse for the seriousness of murdering another human being over a backpack. Unfortunately, the victim’s mother has died before witnessing justice for the murder of her son. Deputy Smith reminded the court that Mr. Johns was 31 years old at the time he was murdered. Friends and family described him as happy, generous, kind and always willing to help. They have described him as “Smiling Sam”, always bringing joy to a room.

At the end of the hearing, Mr. Ewing was sentenced to Life without the possibility of Parole by District Court Judge Gaskill.

“No sentence can bring a life back that should have never been taken. Thank you to every police officer, prosecutor, staff members, detectives, dispatchers, and the community for bringing closure and justice for Sam Johns. Due to their efforts, Mr. Ewing will never see the streets as a free man again. Our community is safer because of their work. On behalf of the citizens in Nez Perce County, thank you,” said Prosecutor Justin Coleman


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