August 26, 2019
Lewiston-Auburn Latest News | Veterans Cemetery | Bangor Metro | Old Town Mill Fire | Today's Paper

Maine man charged in Alaska cold case drops extradition fight

Russ Dillingham | Sun Journal via AP
Russ Dillingham | Sun Journal via AP
Steven Downs appears at Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn, March 20, 2019. Downs has been charged by Alaska authorities with the 1993 sexual assault and murder of 20-year-old Sophie Sergie at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

A Maine man is no longer fighting extradition to Alaska to face charges that he raped and killed a woman there more than 25 years ago.

Steven Downs of Auburn is charged with assault and murder in the brutal killing of 20-year-old Sophie Sergie at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks in 1993. The Sun Journal reports Downs has withdrawn a petition contesting extradition.

[Janet Mills agrees to send Maine man accused in cold-case killing to Alaska for trial]

Downs’ lawyer, James Howaniec, said Downs maintains his innocence, and will fight the case in Alaska.

The 44-year-old Downs was due in court Thursday. Then Alaska authorities will have 30 days to retrieve him.

[Maine man arrested for 1993 Alaska murder was fired from nursing job after making co-workers ‘uncomfortable’]

Downs was a student and Sergie was a former student at the time of Sergie’s death. The case went unsolved for years before DNA evidence led to Downs’ arrest in February.

If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

comments for this post are closed

You may also like