Steven Downs sentenced to 75 years for 1993 Alaska murder
An Auburn man convicted of murdering a native Alaskan woman 30 years ago has been sentenced in Fairbanks Superior Court. The Lewiston Sun Journal reports that 48-year-old Steven Downs was sentenced to 67 years for murder and an additional eight years for sexual assault.
The 1993 killing of 20-year-old Sophie Sergie in a dormitory bathroom at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks was one of the state's most notorious unsolved murders for decades.
Then, in 2018, one of Down's relatives submitted DNA to a testing laboratory and it came back as a random match to DNA found at the scene. Downs had been a freshman at the university at the time of the crime.
During sentencing Monday, the Sun Journal reports that the judge called Downs "brazen and callous" for preying on a random stranger. Downs has maintained his innocence ever since his arrest.