Woman Once on Death Row Freed Pending New Trial

Arizona's Debra Milke was convicted in murder of her 4-year-old son

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 6, 2013 6:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – Debra Milke spent more than two decades on death row in Arizona, but she is no longer behind bars as of this afternoon, reports CNN. She walked out of the Maricopa County jail after supporters put up a $250,000 bond. The 49-year-old isn't in the clear, however. She faces a new murder trial and another possible death sentence over the 1990 slaying of her 4-year-old son. Today's release follows the overturning of her murder conviction earlier this year. Now she'll be free to prepare for the new trial.

In 1990, Milke's roommate and another man were convicted of shooting her son in the desert. But prosecutors alleged that Milke was in on the plot to collect an insurance payout. The only evidence against her was the testimony of a detective who says she confessed. Milke denies it, and the detective in question has a long history of lying under oath—a fact the original jury didn't know. Hence, the March decision to overturn her conviction. Milke's mother is German, and the case is being closely followed in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, reports AP.

In this Aug. 1, 2013, photo, Debra Milke listens to a judge in court.
In this Aug. 1, 2013, photo, Debra Milke listens to a judge in court.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)
This undated image provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows Debra Milke.
This undated image provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows Debra Milke.   (AP Photo/Arizona Department of Corrections)
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