Skip to main content

Jodi Arias and Debra Milke Due in Court Same Day

Fox 10 News' Troy Hayden reported yesterday that earlier this year, Jodi Arias found out that former death-row inmate Debra Milke was being moved to the Maricopa County jail to attend court hearings, and she made a request to jail officials to have Milke housed in the cell next to hers.  As you may know, Debra Milke spent nearly 20 years on death row after being convicted of murder in the death of her young son.  Her conviction was recently overturned and she was taken off death row.  

Earlier this year, Milke was moved from Perryville prison to Maricopa County jail so she could attend hearings in her case.  When Jodi Arias heard this news, she sent a request to jail administrators asking them to put Milke in the cell next to hers! Her request was denied, as inmates are not allowed to pick their "cellies".  How weird is this?  Did Arias want to seek advice from Milke on what death row is like, or was she interested in how Milke got her conviction overturned on appeal? It could be a little of both.  The Fox 10 News article says that Debra Milke, like Jodi Arias - gave an interview after her conviction from the jail.  But Milke has remained virtually silent since.  Debra Milke is free while awaiting a new trial. Both Milke and Arias were due in court for hearings on Friday. I can only imagine what Jodi Arias wanted to talk to her about.  


  1. Very interesting! I remember that around the time that Arias was convicted of 1st Degree Murder that on Milke's Facebook page (run by supporter's trying to free her) they had a few comments posted that the prison had a cell ready for her.

    It also seemed to me that Milke, who was still on death row at that time, was very aware of Arias' vicious crime and did not sound at all sympathetic.

    Here's an interesting article on the current issues with Milke's case.

    Ex-Officer Seeks out of Arizona Woman’s Retrial

    A former detective under fire for wrongdoing and whose testimony was the crux of a conviction against a woman recently released from Arizona’s death row shouldn’t be forced to testify again at her retrial because he could be prosecuted on perjury and civil rights charges, the man’s lawyer told a judge Friday.

    Debra Milke was convicted in 1990 of having two men kill her 4-year-old son in the desert outside Phoenix.

    She spent 24 years on death row before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned her conviction in March. The panel cited the prosecution’s failure to turn over crucial evidence, saying that deprived Milke’s attorneys of the chance to question the credibility of the state’s key witness — the detective who told jurors she confessed.

    The appeals court cited numerous instances in which former Phoenix police Detective Armando Saldate committed misconduct in previous cases, including lying under oath and violating suspects’ rights. The court also found that Milke had not waived her right to have an attorney present for Saldate’s interrogation of her, something he contended she did.

    Saldate now wants to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and not testify at Milke’s retrial, a move that could decimate the case.

    “He should not be placed in that situation,” Saldate’s attorney, Larry Debus, told the judge Friday. “We have a reasonable belief that he could be subject to prosecution.”

    Saldate did not record his interrogation of Milke, so jurors were left with his word alone that she confessed. If Saldate doesn’t take the stand, the purported confession cannot be used, and there is very little other evidence linking Milke to the crime. The two men convicted in the killing did not testify at her trial and remain on death row.

    Milke has maintained her innocence.

  2. Here's the rest of the above article:

    County prosecutors have assured Saldate they plan no charges against him for any wrongdoing. The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said it had reviewed the appeals court’s allegations and found there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue federal charges.

    But Debus argued the Justice Department’s decision “isn’t a grant of immunity” and, regardless, it’s based solely on the Milke case, leaving Saldate open to prosecution in other cases where the appeals court found he committed misconduct.

    If he takes the stand again, he would be forced to not only reiterate his previous testimony in the Milke case, a move that according to the appeals court could be considered perjury, but he would also be subject to cross-examination about the other cases in which misconduct was cited.

    “It scares me and it scares Mr. Saldate,” Debus said.

    Prosecutors say the appeals court findings are inaccurate and Saldate did nothing wrong as they try to persuade him to testify again.

    “The detective has been vilified by the media and by the 9th Circuit,” prosecutor Vince Imbordino told the judge in arguing that he should be forced to testify. “If what we really want is the truth, then this detective really needs to testify.

    “I’m not saying there is no basis for him to be afraid,” Imbordino added while also telling the judge there is “no basis for you to permit him to take the Fifth.”

    Saldate spoke only briefly to the judge when asked if he still wanted to assert his Fifth Amendment right. He declined to comment outside court.

    Milke also had no comment. A ruling is expected next week.

    For now, a retrial is set for 2015 after Milke’s release on bond in September.

    Milke’s attorney, Michael Kimerer, said if Saldate is allowed to assert his Fifth Amendment right, defense lawyers would seek a dismissal of the case based on lack of evidence. If Saldate does testify, Kimerer said he would use the appeals courts’ assertions of misconduct to impeach the former detective’s credibility.

    By Brian Skoloff/ Associated Press

    1. NancyB,
      What a great article about Debra Milke! I'm just now getting around to reading some of these comments from December and I hadn't seen this one yet. Thanks for sharing. Seems obvious that Debra Milke's case is full of police misconduct. Scary to think of what could happen if they stopped taping interrogations!

  3. The following has been posted by Travis’ brother Steven on FaceBook:

    From Steven Alexander – Letting everybody know, the trial isn’t due to start until mid February. We believe this is a tactic to try and get us to throw in the towel. We will not! I say again it won’t happen. Our family will come together and see it through until it is finished. There is a monster that haunts us, but once the correct sentence is given, it’s her who will be haunted until the most the most humane punishment comes to her. Nothing compared to the sentence she gave to a good man. Anyhow, the entire Alexander family thanks all of you. Thank you for having our backs.

    So, hopefully the family will finally see Justice For Travis!


Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting!

Most popular posts

Dr. Janeen DeMarte - A Look At The Prosecution's Expert Witness

Dr. Janeen DeMarte is expected to take the stand in the Jodi Arias murder trial as a key witness for the prosecution. Think of DeMarte as the State's response to Dr. Richard Samuels and potentially Alyce LaViolette. It's unclear when DeMarte will testify, but with Alyce LaViolette's testimony wrapping up, I thought it would be helpful to take a look at who the State's expert witness is.

Dr. Janeen DeMarte is a licensed clinical psychologist who has a private practice in the Phoenix area. She holds a master's degree and PhD in clinical psychology. with a concentration on forensics - and graduated from Michigan State University and fulfilled her doctoral residency at Arizona State Hospital.  Her clinical training was done at outpatient clinics, correctional facilities and inpatient unit settings. She has served as the Clinical Director of a large outpatient behavior health clinic in Phoenix and "oversaw the practice of numerous multidisciplinary treatment provide…

Is Alyce LaViolette Cashing In On Murder Trial?

As the defense finishes questioning their star witness, domestic abuse expert Alyce LaViolette, many are disillusioned by her choice to take the stand to portray murder defendant Jodi Arias as a battered and abused woman.  Maybe I'm the one who's crazy, but wasn't Travis Alexander the one who had the life stabbed, slashed and shot out of him at the hands of Jodi Arias? Who battered whom here?  Are Travis Alexander's not-so-kind text messages to Jodi Arias PROOF that he was a womanizing batterer and bully who held all the power in the relationship between Arias and Alexander?

Alyce LaViolette seems to think so. Does she have any idea the feelings of outrage she is bringing out in the hearts and minds of the real victims of domestic abuse all over the country? Before LaViolette began testifying, I kept asking myself "why would a woman who is so well respected in her field choose THIS case, defend THIS woman?"  Could it be the money? I suppose $250-$300 an hour c…

Was Trip to Cancun Catalyst to Murder? Jodi Arias Murder Trial

Marie "Mimi" Hall was the first prosecution witness to take the stand in the Jodi Arias Murder trial. She took the stand on January 3, 2013. Hall told jurors that she met Travis Alexander through the Mormon Church. Although they initially went on a date, it was quickly recognized that they were a great match as friends, and they remained such good friends that Alexander invited Hall to accompany him on a work retreat to Cancun, Mexico. The trip was to begin on June 10, 2008. Travis wouldn't live to see that day. Friends found him murdered in his home in Mesa, AZ on June 9, 2008. Coincidence, or catalyst? Travis's close friends have told investigators that Arias had been engaging in stalker-like behavior in the months preceding the murder. Twice, Alexander had his tires slashed after going out with other women. He told close friends his Facebook account had been hacked into. Arias even reportedly would use the doggie door to gain entry to Alexander's home. …

A Look At Alyce LaViolette And More Strange Video Footage of Arias Arrest

Yesterday, as Dr. Richard Samuels finished up his testimony the Jodi Arias defense team called their next expert witness to the stand, Alyce LaViolette. LaViolette is a very legitimate expert on the subject of domestic violence, having been one of the early leaders back in the 1970's when this was not a topic that was spoke of often. Jennifer Willmott had LaViolette introduce herself and her educational background, and list her many accomplishments helping battered women and even helping the men who battered them, hoping to return these women to a safer environment. She is likable, and she is a legitimate voice on this topic. The prosecution should not expect this witness to be as sloppy in the trial casework and reporting as Dr. Samuels was. 

While it's unknown exactly how far out on a limb LaViolette will go for Jodi Arias, she is expected to testify about some of the characteristics of battered women, why they return to their abusers - and what some of characteristics are of…

"Cold Justice" Heats Up Unsolved Murder Cases

This is my third blog post on TNT's new reality show, "Cold Justice".  Cold Justice pairs former Texas prosecutor Kelly Siegler with former Las Vegas CSI Yolanda McClary, who travel to small rural towns across America to look at unsolved murder cases.  Their first episode which aired Tuesday has already delivered results - the arrest of Ronnie Hendricks (see yesterdays post for details) for the murder of Pam Shelley. TNT lists an episode guide online, and 
I couldn't resist taking a peek and looking for details on those cases.  I was astonished at what they have accomplished in their first season.  This is more than just another crime drama, these ladies are committed and determined to bringing justice to those who may have escaped it previously in small towns that may lack the resources to bring a suspect to trial.

You can see the episode guide on their website. They give a brief description of the victims and circumstances of their deaths. Here is a list of this seas…