Debra Milke's Attorney Asks Court to Disqualify Bill Montgomery's Office as Prosecutor

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Milke, whose Simpson hearing on a request for bail is scheduled for Thursday...

The lawyer for Debra Milke, whose 1990 murder conviction was overturned earlier this year by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, is asking the court to disqualify Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery's office from being the prosecuting agency in the case.

On the eve of an August 1, hearing on whether or not Milke will be granted bail pending her new trial, her attorney Michael Kimerer filed a motion, arguing that MCAO prosecutors have a conflict of interest, "created by their own misconduct in this case, and the significant political, public and financial interest they have in the outcome of this case."

Kimerer accuses Montgomery of choosing to "embrace" and "validate" the tainted testimony of lying ex-Phoenix Police Detective Armando Saldate, whose account of Milke's unrecorded, undocumented, so-called confession is the only direct "evidence" against Milke in the murder of her four year-old son Christopher.

See Also:
Debra Milke's Attorneys Ask Judge to Set Bail

The Ninth Circuit threw out Milke's conviction because Saldate's long record of deceit in other cases was not disclosed in full to the defense during Milke's trial.

For 50 years, the Supreme Court has held that any exculpatory evidence -- also known as "Brady material" -- must be revealed to defense counsel.

Milke's original attorneys could have used Saldate's record of mendacity and abuse of authority to impeach the cop's testimony. And impeaching Saldate's testimony in that way could have meant Milke's acquittal.

Read Kimerer's motion to disqualify Montgomery's office from the Milke case.

Kimerer notes that the MCAO as an agency is directly implicated in Saldate's misdeeds:

"The 60-page Ninth Circuit Opinion is not only a scathing indictment of a lawless cop who misbehaved again and again, but also of the Maricopa County Attorney‟s Office whose prosecutors breached their duty to disclose known, favorable impeachment evidence, and deliberately withheld evidence of other cases where Saldate had either lied under oath or engaged in other forms of blatantly unconstitutional misconduct.

"The Court detailed the specific cases involving not only blatant Miranda violations by Saldate, but also violations under the Fifth and/or Tenth Amendments in the course of his interrogations. Those cases all involved the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and the Phoenix Police Department - the very same agencies involved in re-prosecuting Debra Milke today."

Further on, Kimerer declares the obvious: that the MCAO could be sued for its behavior in the Milke case, and trying to obtain a conviction on retrial is therefore in its interest, leading the MCAO not to "do justice," as is its duty, but to mitigate its liability.

The motion further states:

"The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has a significant interest in litigating this case and trying to obtain another capital conviction against Ms. Milke. It is an interest not in obtaining justice, but in trying to 'redeem' and protect itself from further potential consequences relating to its own conduct in this case. The Opinion demonstrates that the Ninth Circuit is obviously very concerned with the actions of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in Ms. Milke's case (and in other cases involving Saldate).

"Based upon the Court's findings, together with the possibility of federal investigations, and a likely civil lawsuit, the Maricopa County Attorney‟s Office faces significant penalties, civil liability, and an investigation by the United States Attorney‟s Office and/or Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. The decisions and actions of the current County Attorney and his prosecutors simply cannot be separated from the already wrongful conduct of the original County Attorney and his prosecutors, and their conflict should be imputed to the entire Maricopa County Attorney‟s Office."

Asked for a comment, MCAO spokesman Jerry Cobb would only say that the county attorney will be filing a response to the motion soon.


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24 comments
ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Mr. Lemons,  Thank you for your ongoing pursuit of fair justice for all and allowing the public to see how Arizona's injustice system operates. That should concern ALL. Outstanding journalism. 

This says it all ....

"On the eve of an August 1, hearing on whether or not Milke will be granted bail pending her new trial, her attorney Michael Kimerer filed a motion, arguing that MCAO prosecutors have a conflict of interest, "created by their own misconduct in this case, and the significant political, public and financial interest they have in the outcome of this case. 

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

who was the MC Attorney for this case?

Rick Romley NEEDS Montgomery to try this case. Rick Romley is the bad guy here...why do you keep ignoring that fact Stephen?

ladypiscesdab
ladypiscesdab

If they do retry her, I hope that the defense is able to rip them to shreds in court, in front of the jury, the defendant, and all of america.

royalphoenix
royalphoenix

I wonder what kind of deal MCAO is offering the 2 convicts who carried out the murder to come into court and lie. peace

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Milke should be retried ONLY if ALL of the evidence gathered by Phoenix PD and Det. Saldate is excluded. Which means that the case would have to be completely re-investigated. Moreover, the judge should explain to the jury that Milke (who, of course, may be guilty as hell) was convicted entirely by the testimony of a rogue detective and the men who carried out the grisly deed (murdering Milke's little boy execution-style). If the judge's explanation to the jury is prejudicial to the state's case, so be it.

RimRider
RimRider

It was highest time that this (Buffalo-) Bill Montgomery and his cover-up cohorts be taken off this case of a clearly innocent mother. His corruptness in office and his arrogance toward true justice are just ridiculous and should get him disbarred. I hope fellown Arizonans will never forget how Monty is trying to cover Saldate's butt. Great work, Stephen!

Pat4242
Pat4242

Steve:  Good article. Keep up the good effort in disclosing the corruptness of the MCAO for many reasons,, none of which has "justice" in mind. Its grandstanding at its best and time to  let the public know how they have been and continue to operate. Not only is Debra Milke suffering but the taxpayers of Maricopa County are paying the bill.  Its time the public takes notice and demands change.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Read the stunning motion by Milke's attorney, Kimerer, which tosses the lid off the Maricopa County Attorney's Office's Pandora's Box of shame and horrors -- all done under the color of law. 

Debra Milke's decades long injustice is the tip of the iceberg, the MCAO, Phoenix PD, and law enforcers for the state do not want the public to hear or see.

Debra Milke's Motion to Remove MCAO and DA / County Attorney Bill Montgomery (who is protecting a corrupt detective, why?)

http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/kpho/KPHO NEWS/milkemotion.pdf


ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@yourproductsucks  Romley paved the way for those who followed him. No presumption of innocent or fair justice for defendants.

Read the "Down and Dirty Justice" by  law professor / lawyer / former Maricopa County prosecutor, Gary T. Lowenthal to understand how the policy were rewritten to take away presumption of innocence and due process for the defendant. Written in 2003 about the Maricopa County Attorney's office. 

Thane.Eichenauer
Thane.Eichenauer

I presume that there are so very many people who _deserve_ punishment but Bill Montgomery is the main and primary person responsible for continuing the injustice that is the Debra Milke case.  I could easily add, the chief of police during the period of investigation and the chief of the homicide department of the police during this period.  I am sure there are a few more others could add.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@ladypiscesdab  Also all of Maricopa County Attorney's office decades long dirty justice will come to light. It's taken a "high-profile" case like Debra Milke's to get her conviction and sentencing overturned for all the world to see Arizona and America's injustice system on display. 

RimRider
RimRider

@royalphoenix LOL, right... Problem here: Scott was offered a plea deal twice and turned it down. Styers always said Debra had nothing to do with the murder. There was never a conspiracy.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@royalphoenix  You understand the game they play. Read the "Down and Dirty Justice" by  law professor / lawyer / former Maricopa County prosecutor, Gary T. Lowenthal to understand how the policy were rewritten to take away presumption of innocence and due process for the defendant. Written in 2003 about the Maricopa County Attorney's office. 

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@eric.nelson745  

Unfortunately, this is not a rogue detective, but SOP in Maricopa County and the state of Arizona. Study the cases.  Macumber, Louis Taylor, Ray Krone, and the list of Exonerees on the National Exoneree Registry 2012, over 1,100 nationwide.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@eric.nelson745  Unfortunately, most of the judges in the Arizona "system" are former prosecutors, none trained in defense or wrongful convictions of the innocent. 

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@eric.nelson745  Like so many other wrongful convictions coming out of the decades long injustice and abuse of power in the Maricopa County Attorney's office.  Montgomery is carrying on their long troubled history instead of investigate the over 200,000 FELONY CASES under disgraced and disbarred ex-MCAO Andrew Thomas and his chief "charging" prosecutor -- also disbarred -- ex-DCA Lisa Aubuchon.  There was no gatekeeper in the MCAO. Just "rubber-stamped" easy convictions for political gain, which led to their demise. Abuse of power against judges, officials, lawyers all lawsuits settled. What happened to the "ordinary" people in those over 200,000 FELONY CASES?

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@Thane.Eichenauer

Read the Motion Milke's lawyer, Kimerer filed. click on the links in the article. 

Like so many other wrongful convictions coming out of the decades long injustice and abuse of power in the Maricopa County Attorney's office.  Montgomery is carrying on their long troubled history instead of investigate the over 200,000 FELONY CASES under disgraced and disbarred ex-MCAO Andrew Thomas and his chief "charging" prosecutor -- also disbarred -- ex-DCA Lisa Aubuchon.  There was no gatekeeper in the MCAO. Just "rubber-stamped" easy convictions for political gain, which led to their demise. Abuse of power against judges, officials, lawyers all lawsuits settled. What happened to the "ordinary" people in those over 200,000 FELONY CASES?

Thane.Eichenauer
Thane.Eichenauer

Thank you.  There are so many details in the actual filings that just cannot be summarized even by the best journalists.

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