The case against Debra Milke, who spent more than 20 years on death row for the murder of her four-year-old son, has been dismissed by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge.
Milke was convicted of murder in 1990 for accompanying two men into the desert and shooting her son in the head. These charges were overturned by a federal court in 2013 due to an issue with the detective at the time, Armando Saldate, who reportedly had several incidents of misconduct.
Saldate claimed that Milke confessed to murdering her son during an interview, but there were no witnesses at the time, and the proposed confession was never recorded. He declared in March 2014 that he would not testify in Milke’s retrial.
As a result, Milke’s defense filed to dismiss her case with prejudice so that she could not be tried again by prosecutors, and it was successfully dismissed during a brief hearing in Phoenix on Monday, March 23.
“I always believed this day would come I just didn’t think it would take 25 years, 3 months and 14 days to rectify such a blatant miscarriage of justice,” Milke said.
Milke has maintained her innocence and denied ever telling Saldate she was involved in the murder of her son.
The two men who were convicted in her son’s murder remain on death row and did not testify against her in the past.
Although prosecutors recently bid for a retrial, the Arizona Supreme Court’s rejected this request, and Milke’s attorneys said her case is over now besides a few small matters, like meeting with her probation officer and removing her monitoring bracelet.