Prosecutors win appeal in 1989 son killing case

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX (AP) -- Prosecutors in the case against an Arizona mother charged with having her son killed in 1989 have won an appeal that will force the state's star witness to testify again at the woman's 2015 retrial.

Authorities say Debra Milke had two men kill her 4-year-old son. But a federal appeals court last year overturned her murder conviction. She has since been free on bond.

The case against her rested largely on her purported confession, which a now-retired detective did not record. His credibility has been called into question by the federal appeals court that overturned Milke's conviction. The former detective was refusing to testify again at her 2015 retrial.

The state Court of Appeals Thursday overturned a judge's ruling that allowed the retired officer to assert his Fifth Amendment right.