Court asks state for letter on lead detective in Milke retrial - KCTV5

Court asks state for letter on lead detective in Milke retrial

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Debra Milke had her death sentence overturned by a judge five months ago. (Source: Arizona Department of Corrections) Debra Milke had her death sentence overturned by a judge five months ago. (Source: Arizona Department of Corrections)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The Maricopa County Superior Court is demanding a letter county attorney Bill Montgomery received from federal prosecutors about a potential witness in Debra Milke's retrial.

In the letter, federal prosecutors said they have no intention of filing criminal charges against former police officer Armondo Saldate, whose testimony was challenged due to an alleged history of misconduct.

The Maricopa County Superior Court said it learned of the letter from a news article on Montgomery's Sept. 13 press conference.

The court ruling stated, "The Court was surprised to learn that the State has received a letter from federal prosecutors in late August saying that the statute of limitations had expired on any misconduct by Saldate."

The judge in Milke's retrial said the state had "numerous opportunities" to inform the court about the prosecutors' letter, including at a Sept. 12 hearing.

Saldate's attorney Larry Debus confirmed that he advised Saldate to invoke his Fifth Amendment right. 

The court ordered the state to send the letter to the court, Debus and Milke's defense team by Sept. 20, and ordered that the attorneys meet on Sept. 23.

Milke was convicted more than two decades ago in the murder of her 4-year-old son and sent to death row.

In 2009, an appeals court overturned her conviction, saying her confession had been coerced.

The judge who overturned Milke's death sentence five months ago found that prosecutors didn't disclose evidence of misconduct by lead detective Saldate who testified that she confessed to him in a private interrogation room.

Milke has maintained her innocence.

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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