One-time convicted murderer back in Phoenix pending possible retrial

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- From the State of Arizona’s custody, back to the custody of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, one-time convicted murderer Debra Milke is hoping her attorney can help her get out of custody pending possible retrial.

"We’ll talk about a bail hearing to try to get her released on bail," said defense attorney Michael Kimerer.

Kimerer will bring that up at a status hearing next week in Phoenix. 

Milke was convicted in the 1989 murder of her 4-year-old-son. Prosecutors said she had her roommate, James Styers, kill the boy,  who was a quote “inconvenience,” for $5,000 in insurance money. 

Kimerer says this round he’ll focus on the testimony of former Phoenix Police officer Armando Saldate, whom he’ll subpoena.

"He claimed that she confessed to him, that there was direct evidence she said that, but she says, ‘I have never said that,’ and has always said that from day one," said Kimerer.

Earlier this year, a federal appeals court believed there was enough of a discrepancy there, and overturned Milke’s conviction. 

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who couldn’t talk specifics about the case Friday, could only confirm that he does plan on retrying Milke for first-degree murder.

Kimerer hopes to get the case thrown out, at minimum.

"Debra has always been adamant that she could never accept any plea where she says in any way 'I am responsible for the death of my son, because I wasn’t,'" said Kimerer.

Milke was originally sentenced to death.  Styers, and alleged co-conspirator Roger Scott, are still on death row.