Purported confession in son's death key to Milke trial - New York News

Purported confession in son's death key to Milke trial

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Debra Milke Debra Milke

By BRIAN SKOLOFF
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona woman released from death row in the 1989 killing of her 4-year-old son is set for court this week.

Debra Milke was freed in September. She was convicted for having two men shoot her son in the desert outside Phoenix.

But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Milke's conviction in March, citing the prosecution's failure to turn over evidence that could have impeached the credibility of the state's key witness - a detective who told jurors she confessed. The appeals court noted instances in which the officer violated suspects' rights.

That former detective now wants to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and not testify again. If the judge grants his request Friday, Milke's confession cannot be used at her retrial, something experts say could decimate the case.

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