At the time Ewell finally went to trial he had evaded police prosecution for five years. During that time he had managed to keep one step ahead of the law. Now due to Ponce’s testimony both Ewell and Radovcich found themselves in the dock, the latter tried on three counts of first-degree murder.
Superior Court Judge Frank J. Creede Jr. banned television cameras from the trial, but did allow a radio station to cover court proceedings. The court case was a sensational affair due to the nature of the crime, its wealthy suspects and the fact that it had taken so long to bring the criminals to justice.
Deputy District Attorney Jim Oppliger for the prosecution stated to the jury that Dana Ewell hired former roommate Joel Radovcich to kill the Ewell family at their home while Ewell, the planner and operator, resided in Morgan with his girlfriend and her father in order to acquire an alibi. Oppliger said he would need about 2 hours to describe complex evidence gathered in the more than 5 years since the killings of Dale Ewell, his wife and their 24-year-old daughter, Tiffany.
Star witness, Jack Ponce, 27, agreed to testify for the prosecution in exchange for immunity. He told the jury that he bought the murder weapon for Radovcich, who he thought was going to sell it for a profit. He also told the court that Radovcich told him he put on several layers of latex gloves and sat on plastic sheets while waiting for the Ewells to come home from a weekend trip.
Radovcich used a silencer and first shot daughter Tiffany. Her mother Glee was then shot four times. Dale was shot just once from behind as he walked into the house from the garage thirty minutes later.
Also called to testify during the trial were Dana's uncles (Dale's brothers) who recounted how their nephew had become upset when he learned his parents' will was structured to release half of the estate when he was 30 and the remainder when he turned 35.
It took the jury ten days to convict Radovcich of first-degree murder, and Dana of conspiracy to commit murder. They received mandatory life sentences, but were spared the death penalty.