You spend 22 years thinking that one day your final appeal will be denied and it will be time to face the last seconds of your life before being put to death. Then, one day you wake up and are completely freed from this worry after being convicted of a heinous crime years ago? Debra Milke knows the feeling.
All charges were rescinded against Debra Milke after a judge found evidence of misconduct stemming from the actions of a detective on the case named Armando Saldate. Misconduct mumblings began to reverberate from the alleged confession from Milke stating she hired two men to kill her son during an interrogation. However, no one else could attest to the fact that this confession ever occurred aside from the detective.
Let’s take a moment to review the original charges Milke was convicted for. Debra Milke had a young son named Christopher back in 1989 that only had one dream on a typical December day. He wanted to visit with Santa Claus in the mall. Christopher was completely unaware this was the last day he’d be seen alive.
Supposedly, Debra Milke’s two roommates took the young boy to see Santa Claus, but called back to report that Christopher could not be found. This could have just been written off as a youth getting lost in an overcrowded mall. It happens frequently right?
Prosecutors connected to the case prompted a different scenario. They theorized that James Styers and another friend transported Christopher to a secluded location and shot him three times. Apparently, policemen got Styer’s friend, Roger Scott, to roll on Debra Milke and implicate her as the mastermind behind the crime.
Still, what motive could you possibly have to instruct two fiends to kill your son? The prosecutors had a hypothesis for this as well. The motive was money. More specifically, a $5,000.00 insurance policy she’d recently taken out on her young child. However, they could never get Scott or Styers to testify against Milke in court.
Milke’s conviction was believed to be solely based upon Detective Saldate’s insistance that she confessed to the crime. After doing a little digging, the court found that Saldate had an alleged compulsion for lying under oath and his credibility began to diminish. Due to these findings and the ultimate persistence of a fair trial begin denied to Debra Milke by her defense team, she was released yesterday after serving 22 years in prison.