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Englewood man convicted of axe murder of wife, daughter

Englewood man convicted of axe murder of wife, daughter

Archive photo (chokniti / Adobe Stock)

DENVER (KDVR) — An Englewood man who was convicted of first-degree murder in the March 2023 killings of his wife and daughter was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Wednesday.

Reginald Maclaren, 83, was sentenced to two life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murders of his wife Bethany, 70, and daughter Ruth, 35, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.


In addition to his life sentences, he was sentenced to two 12-year prison terms for tampering with a corpse, as well as 120 days in jail with credit for time served for making a false statement. According to the Englewood Police Department, Maclaren called police around 6 p.m. on March 25, 2023, and said someone he knew had killed his wife and daughter with a hammer.

When police arrived, Ruth and Bethany’s bodies were found stuffed into black trash cans in the living room. Police said one of the bodies had been dismembered and there was a large axe in the closet.

Maclaren tells police he killed them to avoid homelessness

Maclaren was taken to a nearby hospital where police said he admitted to killing his wife and daughter.

According to the arrest document, Maclaren told investigators he hit his wife in the head with an axe as she sat on a couch that morning. He then hit his daughter, who has cerebral palsy, with the axe, knocking her unconscious.

He told police he hit the victims in the head two more times before dismembering their bodies so they could fit into the trash can. According to the autopsy report, his daughter died from 23 axe wounds and his mother died from six axe wounds.

According to the affidavit, Maclaren told police he had recently been laid off from his job and was worried his family would be left homeless because he couldn’t pay the rent.

He told detectives he had been planning the murder for 10 days and did not regret killing his family, saying he “knows they are in a better place.”

The judge ordered that his sentences run consecutively.