PHOENIX (AP) — A former Arizona detective whose testimony helped convict a woman recently released from death row wants out of testifying again at her retrial, for fear of being prosecuted himself on perjury and civil rights charges.
Armando Saldate asked a judge on Friday to allow him to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
An appeals court in March overturned Debra Milke's 1990 conviction for having two men kill her 4-year-old son, citing the prosecution's failure to turn over evidence that could have impeached the credibility of Saldate — the state's key witness who told jurors she confessed. The court noted instances in which the officer violated suspects' rights.
If the judge grants Saldate's request, Milke's purported confession can't be used at her retrial. A ruling is expected next week.