Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery vows new trial for Debra Milke

PHOENIX - Maricopa County's top prosecutor is vowing justice for a murdered 4-year-old boy.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery promises he will re-try Christopher Milke's mother, Debra Milke.

Milke sat on death row for over 20 years but her conviction was overturned amid questions looming about a key witness's credibility.

Some legal experts thought Montgomery would throw in the towel, but Montgomery remains adamant about a re-trial.

Even if the prosecution's main witness doesn't testify, Montgomery says there are other ways to get the accused murderer back behind bars.

Montgomery came out swinging, the first punch directed at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for ordering an investigation into retired Det. Armando Saldate who was the state's key witness.

"I'm going through specific facts in a record that the 9th Circuit had an obligation to review and was irresponsible and incorrect," Montgomery said Friday.

Montgomery went through each case the 9th Circuit questioned, determined to clear Saldate's character.

The next punch – Milke's defense team for allegedly using the media to intimidate Saldate with claims he could face prosecution if he testifies.

"There is nothing detective Saldate could be charged with … and truthful testimony in any proceeding would be just that," Montgomery said.

Saldate claims Milke confessed to having her son killed, while Milke claims he's lying.

There's no recording of the confession – only Saldate's word – who now may not testify.

Nevertheless, Montgomery says he can still win a second conviction.

"I don't think I want to tell the defense how I want to go forward and I will not stand by and watch the defense dance on his (Christopher's) grave anymore."

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