Maricopa County prosecutors plan retrial for Milke

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Debra Milke By Andrew Michalscheck Debra Milke By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX (AP) -- Prosecutors formally told a court Monday that they plan to retry an Arizona death row inmate whose conviction was overturned by a federal appeals court four months ago.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office didn't say whether they intend to seek the death penalty in the case of Debra Milke.

Milke, 49, was convicted in 1990 and sentenced to death for sending her 4-year-old son off to visit a mall Santa Claus with two men who shot the boy execution-style in the desert in 1989.

She is one of three women on death row in the state.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Milke's conviction on March 14, concluding that prosecutors hadn't turned over evidence of the history of misconduct by a detective who testified at her 1990 trial that she had confessed to him in a closed interrogation room.

Milke has always maintained her innocence, saying she had nothing to do with her son Christopher's death.

A U.S. District Court judge in Phoenix ordered that Milke be released from custody Monday unless Arizona prosecutors planned a retrial.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office filed the notice of intent to retry.

Michael Kimmerer, an attorney for Milke, told The Arizona Republic that he will try to secure bond for Milke after she's transferred from state prison to the county jail.

Prosecutors claimed Milke had her son killed to collect on a $5,000 insurance policy.

The two men convicted in the case - Roger Scott and former Milke roommate James Styers - also are on Arizona's death row.

Scott confessed during a police interrogation and led detectives to the boy's body. Neither Scott nor Styers testified against Milke.

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