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Julia Downs and Karl Jürisson

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*Editor’s Note: We at The Paper. would like to express our deep condolences to the family and friends of Julia Downs. In September we profiled the unsolved murder of Downs’ partner Karl Jürisson, a prominent rocket engineer who was gunned down in broad daylight this summer. 

According to the Taos County Sheriff’s Department, Taos County Assistant District Attorney Julia Downs was killed on Oct. 5 when her car was rear-ended on US 64 west of Taos near the Taos Mesa Brewing. The sheriff said it appeared her car was stopped to turn left in front of the 10,000 Wags Pet Resort when a green Ford Expedition crashed into her Volvo station wagon. The driver of the Expedition was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. According to The Taos News, the Taos County Sheriff’s Office announced last Friday that it misidentified the driver responsible for the crash. The driver of the Ford Expedition that crashed into the red Volvo was then correctly identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Frank McAleer. The Paper. has requested a report of the incident. No charges have been filed yet.

Downs moved to Taos after her partner, Karl Jürisson, was shot and killed in front of her house south of the University of New Mexico. Jürisson was shot while he was checking on her house when she was out of town last June. Downs and Jürisson had been partners for almost eight years.

Downs was a former prosecutor for the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s office before she left in 2017 to form her own practice. She prosecuted many high-profile cases during her time there. She began a new job in September working at the Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s office in Taos. District Attorney Marcus Montoya told the Taos News that she had a comforting personality and losing her came way too soon and she will be dearly missed. Downs leaves behind an 11-year-old son.

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