Former Arizona death row inmate to live in house paid for by supporters

Debra Jean Milkeoriginally by: 630WPRO.COM
published: 9 September 2013

Debra Jean Milke, one of the most polarizing inmates in Arizona history, is expected to leave jail Friday and will be taken to a house in Phoenix that her supporters bought for her as she awaits retrial in the 1989 killing of her 4-year-old son.

“At first, it was shock and disbelief, and then she was ecstatic,” Milke’s defense attorney, Michael Kimerer, told “She said, ‘Oh, I just can’t catch up with my feelings. It’s overwhelming.'”

Milke’s bond was set at $250,000 Thursday as she awaited retrial. Her mother, who lives in Germany, was expected to post the money on Friday, according to Kimerer.

Milke, now 49, has been cast as a coldhearted and calculating killer. In December 1989, according to prosecutors, she told her 4-year-old son, Christopher, that she was going to take him to see Santa Claus. Instead, they said, Milke handed her son over to two men who took him into the Arizona desert and killed him so she could collect an insurance payout.

Prosecutors said Milke confessed to Phoenix Police Det. Armando Saldate. However, he said he failed to tape record it. Milke denied that she ever confessed, but was found guilty and sentenced to death.

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