Milke Debra J

Debra Jean Milke - Inmate Photo

Personal InformationEdit

Arizona State Inmate #083533
Gender: Female
Date of Birth: March 10, 1984

(1984 -03-10) (age 34)

Place of Birth: Berlin (Steglitz), Germany
Family Information: divorced
A.K.A.: Debbie Milke

Death row Debbie

Case InformationEdit

Date of Offense: December 2, 1989
Victim: Christopher Milke, age 4 male

Criminal History Before OffenseEdit

  • No record

Crime DescriptionEdit

James Styers filed a missing child report for Christopher Milke, his roommate's son, on December 2, 1989. Styers' later mentioned that his high school buddy Roger Mark Scott was also at the Metocenter, where the boy was missing. Police interrogated Scott for hours and hours, until he would eventually show the dead body of the boy, located in a wash north of Phoenix. He had been shot in the back of the head with three .22 caliber bullets. Detective Saldate's report stated that Debra admitted in a police interview that she conspired with Styers to kill her son. Debra, however, steadfastly denies this confession since she was arrested. The supposed confession was never tape-recorded, signed by her, or witnessed by anyone else. In fact, doubts came up regarding former Phoenix police detective Saldate, his objectives, and the truthfulness of his accounts.


Judge: Cheryl K. Hendrix
Prosecutor: Noel Levy
Defense Attorney: Kenneth Ray
Trial commenced on September 10, 1990. On October 12, 1990, the jury returned a verdict of guilty to First Degree Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Kidnapping, and Child Abuse. On January 18, 1991, the judge sentenced Milke to death for the First Degree Murder charge, 25-to-life for the Conspiracy charge, and 20 years for the Kidnapping and Child Abuse charges.

Post Conviction InformationEdit

On December 21, 1993, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentences for First Degree Murder, Conspiracy, and Kidnapping. The conviction for Child Abuse was vacated.
Information that cause grave doubts about the rightfulness of her conviction can be found at the official website about the case,

Recognition of innocenceEdit

On March 14, 2013 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held in their decision that Debra Milke is entitled to Habeas Relief and set aside her conviction and sentence. The panel specifically ordered Det. Saldate's personnel records covering all of his years of service to the district court. So far only four(!) pages were turned over by the Phoenix police department (after twenty years in the service). Judge Alex Kozinski wrote separately to say he would have also granted relief on the ground that Saldate violated Debra's Miranda Rights and he would throw out the entire confession. The decision also granted the State of Arizona to retry Milke, but without the dubious uncorroborated confession there is no case against her (Maricopa County's prosecutor's office repeatedly recognized this). Milke has always maintained her innocence.

External Links and ReferencesEdit

Clip 6 What Phoenix Police Is Hiding..

Clip 6 What Phoenix Police Is Hiding...

Clip 2 The Purported Confession

Clip 2 The Purported Confession