Another pre-trial hearing for Debra Milke, the woman who was granted a new trial earlier this month after her 1990 murder conviction was overturned, is set to take place at an Arizona courthouse this afternoon. You can read my first post about Debra’s retrial HERE.
Debra had been on death row for masterminding the killing of her 4-year-old son, but was released on bond and granted a new trial in early September.
Today, attorneys are expected to discuss the upcoming September 30 retrial, paying particular attention to the prosecution’s star witness from the 1990 trial. Detective Armando Saldate Jr. told the jury in that trial that Debra had confessed to him, although the confession was allegedly only told to him, and no recordings were ever made. The Defense says that Saldate’s prior complaints against him were withheld from them, and that may have discredited him as a witness.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The Associated Press has a great article written by Adam Geller and Brian Skoloff about the prior complaints against Saldate and it’s definitely an interesting read.
Saldate’s lawyer has reportedly said that his client will invoke his Fifth Amendment right and refuse to testify in Debra Milke’s retrial.
The hearing is expected to take place at 1:30 PM today. I’ll post updates below.
UPDATE: 9/23/13 3:40 PM
Debra’s retrial date has been pushed back to February 2, 2015. The next court date will be on December 6, 2013, to discuss whether Detective Saldate can invoke his 5th amendment right. If he can’t, another hearing will be scheduled to determine whether the confession will be admissible.