- Arizona State Inmate #083533
- Gender: Female
- Date of Birth: March 10, 1984
- Place of Birth: Berlin (Steglitz), Germany
- Family Information: divorced
- A.K.A.: Debbie Milke
Death row Debbie
- Date of Offense: December 2, 1989
- Victim: Christopher Milke, age 4 male
Criminal History Before OffenseEdit
- No record
- James Styers filed a missing child report for Christopher Milke, his roommate's son, on December 2, 1989. Styers' later mentioned that his high school buddy Roger Mark Scott was also at the Metocenter, where the boy was missing. Police interrogated Scott for hours and hours, until he would eventually show the dead body of the boy, located in a wash north of Phoenix. He had been shot in the back of the head with three .22 caliber bullets. Detective Saldate's report stated that Debra admitted in a police interview that she conspired with Styers to kill her son. Debra, however, steadfastly denies this confession since she was arrested. The supposed confession was never tape-recorded, signed by her, or witnessed by anyone else. In fact, doubts came up regarding former Phoenix police detective Saldate, his objectives, and the truthfulness of his accounts.
- Judge: Cheryl K. Hendrix
- Prosecutor: Noel Levy
- Defense Attorney: Kenneth Ray
- Trial commenced on September 10, 1990. On October 12, 1990, the jury returned a verdict of guilty to First Degree Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Kidnapping, and Child Abuse. On January 18, 1991, the judge sentenced Milke to death for the First Degree Murder charge, 25-to-life for the Conspiracy charge, and 20 years for the Kidnapping and Child Abuse charges.
Post Conviction InformationEdit
- On December 21, 1993, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentences for First Degree Murder, Conspiracy, and Kidnapping. The conviction for Child Abuse was vacated.
- Information that cause grave doubts about the rightfulness of her conviction can be found at the official website about the case, www.debbiemilke.com.
Recognition of innocenceEdit
- On March 14, 2013 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held in their decision that Debra Milke is entitled to Habeas Relief and set aside her conviction and sentence. The panel specifically ordered Det. Saldate's personnel records covering all of his years of service to the district court. So far only four(!) pages were turned over by the Phoenix police department (after twenty years in the service). Judge Alex Kozinski wrote separately to say he would have also granted relief on the ground that Saldate violated Debra's Miranda Rights and he would throw out the entire confession. The decision also granted the State of Arizona to retry Milke, but without the dubious uncorroborated confession there is no case against her (Maricopa County's prosecutor's office repeatedly recognized this). Milke has always maintained her innocence.
External Links and ReferencesEdit
- AZ Supreme Court Sentencing Case Law
- AZ Department of Corrections Death Row Inmate
- AZ Department of Corrections Inmate Sheet
- Debra Milke on Wikipedia
- Debra Milke's Official Website
- Debra Milke's Case on Injustice Anywhere
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Decision of March 14, 2013