Detective won't testify in AZ child death retrial - CBS 5 - KPHO

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Detective won't testify in AZ child death retrial

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Debra Milke Debra Milke
Debra Milke Debra Milke
Debra Milke Debra Milke

The case against an Arizona woman who spent two decades on death row in the murder of her 4-year-old son has been dealt a crushing blow.

A judge on Wednesday said former detective Armondo Saldate doesn't have to testify at Debra Milke's retrial.

Saldate has said he wanted to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and does not want to testify. On Wednesday, the judge granted his request.

"After careful consideration of the totality of the circumstances, the court finds that it is not 'perfectly clear' that Saldate is mistaken and that his testimony could not possibly have the tendency to incriminate him," the judge's order stated.

Without his testimony on her purported confession, prosecutors can't use it at her retrial.

In other cases, the detective has been accused of lying under oath. If defense attorneys brought that up in the Milke retrial to try to hurt his credibility, he fears he could face prosecution in those cases.

Milke was accused of having two men shoot her 4-year-old son in 1989. She spent 24 years on death row. An appeals court overturned her conviction in March and she is free on bond pending a 2015 retrial.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.  CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.

  • UPDATEDetective won't testify in AZ child death retrialMore>>

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    Wednesday, December 18 2013 1:17 PM EST2013-12-18 18:17:21 GMT
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