Charge Armando Saldate with Perjury and Obstruction of Justice

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Charge Armando Saldate with Perjury and Obstruction of Justice

This petition had 87 supporters
National Center For Due Process started this petition to Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Prosecutor and

Debra Milke recently had all charges dropped -- rightfully so -- relating to the death of her son.  Here are some basic facts:

  • Debra Milke was convicted of murder in her son’s death, given the death penalty; she spent 22 years on Arizona's death row
  • There was no evidence tying her to the crime, but a detective, Armando Saldate, said she confessed
  • This detective had a “history of misconduct,” including lying under oath

The judge’s decision finally clears Milke after years of legal back-and-forth in a case where she steadfastly maintained her innocence.

Key to the case’s dismissal was prosecutorial misconduct, mainly that of a detective, Armando Saldate, who said Milke confessed to the crime to him — even though there was no witness or recording.

Prosecutors withheld from the jury Saldate’s personnel record which showed instances of misconduct in other cases, including lying under oath.

The two men with whom Milke was accused of conspiring were tried separately and are still on death row.

Milke was implicated based on alleged testimony from Styer’s friend, Roger Scott.

The detective, Saldate, said Scott told him that Milke was involved in a plot to kill her son. And during her trial, prosecutors floated a likely motive: A $5,000 life insurance policy she had taken out on the child.  But neither Scott nor Styers testified to a plot in court.

No other witnesses or direct evidence linked Milke to the crime other than Saldate’s testimony.

Saldate further said that Milke confessed to her role in the murder plot during interrogation and said it was a “bad judgment call.”  There was no recording of the interrogation, no one else was in the room or watching from a two-way mirror, and Saldate said he threw away his notes shortly after completing his report.

Milke offered a vastly different view of the interrogation and denied that she had confessed to any role.  The trial became a he-said/she-said contest between the two.

What prosecutors didn’t tell the court was the detective’s long history of lying under oath and misconduct.

Saldate had been suspended five days for taking “liberties” with a female motorist and lying about it to his supervisors. Four confessions or indictments had been tossed out because Saldate had lied under oath. Judges suppressed or vacated four other confessions because Saldate had violated a person’s constitutional rights.

The Arizona Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal. And on Monday, March 23, 2015, all charges against Milke were finally dropped. The ankle bracelet she had been wearing while on bail was removed. And Milke left the court room, sobbing in relief.

Bill Montgomery, it's time to change your public image and charge Armando Saldate with a slew of crimes -- and you can begin with perjury and obstruction of justice. 

Failure to do so will inevitably lead to a further decline of your character in the court of public opinion, and an abrupt end to your political career.

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