Bill Montgomery Scolded by Debra Milke Judge for Withholding Information

Categories: Monty's World
bill-montgomery-top-10.jpg
Photo by Matthew Hendley
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery


Former Phoenix homicide detective Armando Saldate might be the only reason Debra Milke was on death row for more than two decades for killing her son -- a conviction that has since been overturned by a federal appeals court.

Upon hearing that Saldate was planning to refuse testifying in Milke's retrial, apparently due to concerns about incriminating himself, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery explained to the media that the statute of limitations had expired.

Superior Court Judge Rosa Mroz, who's residing over the retrial, would have liked to have that information, and "finds it curious" that prosecutors never mentioned that.

See also:
-Debra Milke Granted $250K Bond, Bill Montgomery Loses Big-Time

Mroz scolded Montgomery in an order released today, after Montgomery held a press conference last week, in which he said that federal prosecutors sent him a letter last month explaining that the statute of limitations had expired for any possible charges against Saldate.

See, Saldate is the one who allegedly got Milke to confess back in 1989 to being involved in the murder of her 4-year-old son. There are no other cops who witnessed this confession, and it wasn't recorded. Milke's conviction was overturned as the appeals court ruled that the trial court didn't let Milke's defense team introduce evidence about Saldate's sketchy history as a cop.

Here's the kicker: The Arizona Republic reported on Thursday that Saldate would refuse to testify. Judge Mroz said that the confession wouldn't be allowed in the retrial if Saldate didn't testify.

All of the sudden, Montgomery calls a press conference, repeatedly saying that there's no reason Saldate shouldn't testify, and dropping that little note about federal prosecutors saying the statute of limitations expired.

If that sounds a little desperate, that's because it is. When granting bail to Milke earlier this month, Judge Mroz ruled that ". . . the Court agrees with the Ninth Circuit court's opinion that the only direct evidence linking the Defendant to the crimes is the Defendant's alleged confession to Saldate."

Problem is, Montgomery never mentioned this letter before, and prosecutors failed to bring it up in the courtroom, despite plenty of opportunities to mention it.

Here's what Mroz's order says:
The Court has read an article written by J.J. Hensley in the Arizona Republic regarding a press conference held on September 13, 2013, by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery about this case. The Court was surprised to learn that the State has received a letter from federal prosecutors in late August saying that the statute of limitations had expired on any misconduct by Saldate. The Court has had hearings in this case in which the very issue of whether Detective Saldate is being investigated by the Justice Department and whether he needed to have an attorney was discussed . . .

If the news article is accurate, then the Court finds it curious that the State did not inform this Court about the federal prosecutors' letter. The State has had numerous opportunities to inform the Court of this development, including at the September 12, 2013 hearing, which was just the day before the press conference.
Mroz ordered Montgomery to turn over the letter to the court, and also ordered one of Montgomery's lackeys to prepare a written explanation as to why prosecutors decided to not mention that, until Montgomery called the press conference -- if such a letter exists, Mroz notes.

You know, Montgomery claims to be very familiar with the decision by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, overturning Milke's conviction.

Right there in the opinion, it says both the district court and appeals court found prosecutors to be "unconstitutionally silent" in regards to details about Saldate's history, including documentation like court orders and disciplinary history.

See a pattern?

Click here to read Mroz's opinion.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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39 comments
mandymarie7835
mandymarie7835

Yes, I see the pattern of prosecutorial misconduct and because I know that that pattern exists, I will vote for acquittal every single time I am selected for jury duty. The prosecutors have corrupted the system and now it's payback time. When more of us "send that message" then the only leverage prosecutors will have is plea deals and when the accused figures out that they have a better chance at trial, they won't be accepting unfair deals.  The evil prosecutors have slit their own throats on this.  Send the message.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Even if the Statute of Limitations on perjury has expired, he can still plead the 5th. And if he does testify, he will be ripped to shreds on cross. Either way, this is a lose-lose situation for Monty.

DNichols
DNichols

County Attorney Montgomery pretends to care about "Justice for Children" unless the Perp. is one of Mongomery's Child Molesting Minute Man Border Patrolling/Dating Buddies.

How about "Justice" for the Children who's Lives have been ruined by your Sick Ass Minute Man Pal Montgomery you worthless Hypocrite?!

Shawn Olson
Shawn Olson

It makes you wonder how many other times this has happened ! what a piece of shit !

toersbijnsc
toersbijnsc

Bill Montgomery is the top law enforcer in Maricopa County and he is already showing how flighty he is under pressure. Bill Montgomery reminds me of a cheerleader with his pre-game chants of intimidation to the opposite team. As a prosecutor in a high profile murder trial that has built its entire case on a confession attained through questionable practices and ordered to be withdrawn by the presiding judge, he has begun to hold the traditional pre game superstitions, allegations and rituals to discredit or demoralize the opposing team. He feels he needs to do this in order for his office to attain the right kind of focus on this case.
By making allegations of the Milke defense team he seeks to proactively strengthen his public figure position as the good guy and face the harsh facts of the case that are falling apart without Saldate as their key witness. Watch for Montgomery to pump up the music in the press and do some chest bumping with the law enforcement officials in this case as well as Sheriff Joe leeching the Sheriff’s popularity as the means to get the PR he needs. This is all about mental preparation on the Debra Milke case.
He needs to instill confidence in his assistant prosecutors. Montgomery will his lucky tie, put on his favorite NFL team shirt on and lace his shoes with creativity for good luck. His method of execution should be predictable from every angle you can think of. All you have to do is watch the NFL football teams get ready to play a game and just before Montgomery and his team burst through the banner of justice he is spewing out there, he will remind the press of what his goals are and how he is not concerned about his opponent while secretly sweating under his armpits as a nervous lawyer doing his first real criminal trial that the whole world will be watching.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Lol MontyPug looks really sad in that photo.

I wonder why he's so against that ethical rule requiring prosecutors to disclose evidence that could potentially eliminate a suspect if MontyPug is a "law and order" and "rule of law" Republican....

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

History repeats.  The re-trial is due to the CA not turning over info to the court they were required to turn over, and here montypoodle gets slapped on his nose for not turning over info to the court he's required to turn over.

Maybe Aubuchon can come back to work and help him!  Oh...  wait....

dtmac
dtmac

Move over Andy Thomas, Bill Montgomery is now driving the train to crazy town! 

JustSayin
JustSayin

It will be interesting to see if Monty can produce the letter.   Interesting turn of events and on the same day that disbarred Prosecutor Aubuchon lost her appeal.  Could we see another pattern?

Chris Rasmussen
Chris Rasmussen

Enjoy your last days Bill. Arizona has spoken. Arizonans believe in state rights. We don't want someone more concerned with the feds. We want someone to stand up for what Arizonans have voted for, for three times.

lardosardo
lardosardo

OK thats like the craziest thing I heard all day man!

Anon-Werkz.tk

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

Maricopa County/State of Arizona Judicial system.... even a sewer gets 5 stars in comparison...

elmergantry71
elmergantry71

They had a chance to convict Milke two decades back, and they screwed it up. She already served a sentence longer than many murderers. So why is this bum sticking up for an ex-cop who has a known track record of being a lying crooked SOB? Like mom always used to say, "Birds of a feather flock together." What the hell is up with Monty? Suck it up man, the team screwed up.

PS, you guys screwed up on the medical edibles thing, too. Hope to see that gambit go down in flames as well.

lydia_guzman
lydia_guzman

I wonder if any attorneys can answer this:  Can Milke sue the Phoenix Police & or Saldate?

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Maricopa County prosecutors and Montgomery still up to the same old bag of corruption I see.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Bill's just carrying on a tradition started by his predecessor of working closely with corrupt cops.

l.north
l.north

To all these people supporting Debra Milke, I agree this was one sloppy handled case. I agree Saldate is a corrupt pig. However, are you really stupid enough to believe this man would set up a women he had never even met for the murder of her own son? If James Styers wanted to "get in bed" with Debra, why kill her little boy? Why would RMS shoot Christopher for no reason? Why would Debra have a life insurance policy out on her son and why would she have a box of Styer's bullets in her purse? Why would her own father and sister testify against her and call her an abusive and selfish mother? Why would she act cold and emotionless at her first trial? She is guilty and because Saldate was an idiot and forgot to record the confession, this pig gets to live her life again while her son is 6 feet underground.

asdfasdf
asdfasdf

Bill's turning into a genuine embarrassment.  Whether Milke is innocent or not, the reality is that cops frequently embellish their reports and testimony and prosecutors know it and encourage it.

The least they could do is from time to time is haul one of the crooked, lying cops into court and prosecute them instead of encouraging them to continue to lie on the stand by pointing out that their past perjured testimony was beyond the statute of limitations.


asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@truthseekeraz 

... followed by telling the press "we don't comment on pending cases" when they asked about the judge spanking them.



Patd
Patd

@l.north There was a $5000 insurance policy for her son that was a standard benefit of employment.  I had policies for my children through work too, many people do.  The bullets?  Her claim that she saw them sitting out on a table in her home and put them in her purse for safety makes much more sense than that they somehow connect her to the murder of her son.  How do you make that connection?  I hope you never sit on a jury because you have no concept of reasonable doubt.  Her estranged family testified against her, but those closest to her testified that she was a good loving mother.  Are you really stupid enough not to believe that a crooked, misogynistic cop wouldn't fabricate a confession like this?  The same guy that has twice been found to extort sex from women while in performance of his duties?  

asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@l.north 

That's life when the cops screw up and substitute lying for honest police work, the guilty do sometimes go free.  Whether innocent or guilty, people deserve an honest trial and she didn't get it.  She, like many others, got a cop who lies.  The cop, like you, thinks lying is OK as long as the person you are lying about is guilty (in the minds of the cop).


elmergantry71
elmergantry71

@l.north If it's as obvious as you believe, why couldn't the state prove it fair and square?

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

@l.north Getting this confession would be a feather in the cap of any cop. this is ample reason why  a corrupt cop would set up "a woman he'd never met."

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@truthseekeraz 

Time for Term Limits on ALL elected positions, city, county, state and federal.

l.north
l.north

@shadeaux14 @l.north  How can you believe she is innocent? Why didn't she go to the mall when the boy was "missing" to look for her son? Why take off for Florence? Her friend Dorthy Markwell who she lived with in Colorado for a period said she would hit Christopher. Is it because you don't want to believe a mother is capable of murdering her children that you believe she is innocent? 

asdfasdf
asdfasdf

@truthseekeraz 

Absolutely true, happens over and over again.  Think long and hard about calling the police to help handle a situation with a family member.  

TheeFree
TheeFree

@l.north @shadeaux14 because it has nothing to do with "believing" anything.  It is about evidence, and in this case the lack of.  I have reviewed the details of this case ad nauseum, there is not a single shred of credible evidence to suggest Debra Milke is not innocent.  Nothing you mention comes anywhere close to proving guilt. Your Markwell reference has already been refuted completely. While It is sadly apparent that humans are quite capable of heinous deeds, as a civilized society, we must adhere to the constitution and if there is not evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty, then he or she is innocent.  There is zero proof of Debra Milke's guilt. So it is literally that elementary....she is in fact innocent!

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@l.north @shadeaux14 

All good points... so why couldn't they convict her without lying??

It always comes back to that....

mandymarie7835
mandymarie7835

I agree with you in part. But it is NOT just the republicans, the dems are screwing us too. It's about power over others. Dems are right there with the Reps taking your rights away.

elmergantry71
elmergantry71

@asdfasdf @truthseekeraz The law 'n' order types used to say, "If you don't like cops, next time you're in a jamb, call a hippie!" Well, that, in fact, is what I prefer to do.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@asdfasdf @truthseekeraz 

Think long and hard about calling the police in GENERAL!

While we should be able to trust that the people responding are Law Enforcement Professionals, the last 20 years in this country show that you CANNOT trust the officers responding to be Professional Law Enforcement officers until they show they are.

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