Defense seeks to have cold case charges tossed in Alaska
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The lawyer for a man charged in a rape and killing more than 25 years ago at the University of Alaska Fairbanks wants a judge to dismiss the case.
The Sun Journal reports that James Howaniec wrote in a defense motion that the crime scene was “badly botched,” the investigation was flawed, and that the only physical evidence consists of “few spermatozoa molecules.”
Steven Downs, of Auburn, Maine, is charged with first-degree murder and felony sexual assault in the 1993 death of 20-year-old Sophie Sergie. Downs was a freshman living in the same dorm where her body was found.
The defense motion notes that another man allegedly confessed to his sister that he killed Sergie. The case went unsolved for years before DNA evidence led to Downs' arrest.
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