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Court rejects second bid to retry Debra Milke in son’s killing

PHOENIX — An Arizona woman who was freed after spending 22 years on death row for her son’s killing will not be retried, a court ruled Tuesday.

Debra Milke was freed on bail in 2013 after a judge ruled there was no direct evidence linking her to the death of her 4-year-old son, though she could have been retried.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned her conviction, stating prosecutors should have disclosed information that cast doubt on the credibility of a since-retired detective who said Milke confessed.

One attempt to retry Milke was also dismissed.

Milke filed a lawsuit Friday against the city of Phoenix, Maricopa County and numerous individuals.

Milke contended she was denied a fair trial in her son’s 1989 killing and was a victim of malicious prosecution.

“The denial of our petition for review is a dark day for Arizona’s criminal justice system,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a statement. “By refusing to review the Arizona Court of Appeals unprecedented expansion of Double Jeopardy and adopting the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal’s misconstruction of the case history, aided and abetted by selective citations to the record by the Defendant, the Arizona Supreme Court has deprived crime victims, particularly Christopher Milke, of their rights to fairness, due process and justice.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.