Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office names first assistant prosecutor

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri recently announced the promotion of Jennifer Downing-Mathis to first assistant prosecutor. PHOTO COURTESY OF MERCER COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE

First assistant prosecutor is a lifelong Mercer County resident, Lawrence High School grad

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri recently announced the promotion of Jennifer Downing-Mathis to first assistant prosecutor.

Downing-Mathis was sworn by the Honorable Janetta D. Marbrey, J.S.C. at the Mercer County Criminal Courthouse, according to a press release on Aug. 2.

In her new role, Downing-Mathis will assist in formulating policy, overseeing investigations, and general oversight of several units in the office as well as the 210-member staff. She has served as deputy first assistant since September 2016.

“I look forward to working with Jennifer in her new role as this office strives to make Mercer County a safer community to live, work and visit,” Onofri said.

Downing-Mathis began her career with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office in 1998 after completing a clerkship for the Honorable Paulette Sapp-Peterson, J.S.C.

During her time in the office, she has served as chief of the Megan’s Law Unit and chief of the Special Victims Unit, where she initiated the formation and accreditation process of the Robin H. Scheiner Child Advocacy Center. Downing-Mathis has vast experience in executive government administration, child abuse and sexual assault investigations, grant acquisitions, internal affairs, trial preparation, and legal research and analysis.

Downing-Mathis finds time to give back to the community by mentoring and lecturing youth and participating in community organizations such as the Eggerts Crossing Civic League. She is a member of the New Jersey State Bar, serving as a trustee for the Criminal Law Section, a past president of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey (ABWLNJ), and interim secretary and a trustee for the Mercer County Bar Association. She is also a member of the National District Attorneys Association and the National Black Prosecutors Association.

Additionally, Downing-Mathis is significantly involved in the Mercer County Inns of Court, serves as chairperson of the Mercer County Commission on Abused, Neglected and Missing Children, is a Stigma Free Mercer task force member, and is a member of the Mercer Vicinage Superior Court Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee.

During her career, Downing-Mathis has been honored with awards from the Cherish the Child Foundation, the New Jersey Women’s Hall of Fame and the ABWLNJ. She was recently inducted into the Marquis Who’s Who in America.

A lifelong Mercer County resident, Downing-Mathis is a graduate of Lawrence High
School. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor degree in Spanish from Rider University and her law degree from Widener University School of Law, where she was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society.

She is the proud daughter of Robert and Sarah Downing, both deceased. Mr. Downing was Mercer County’s first Black undersheriff. Downing-Mathis resides in Ewing Township with her husband, Lloyd Mathis, a retired lieutenant with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

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