Roger Scott was sentenced to death by the State of Arizona for the murder of a four year old boy. According to court documents the four year old boy was brought out to the desert and fatally shot. A police officer would report that the mother of the child, Debra Jean Milke, told him that Roger Scott, James Styer and her planned the murder so that her ex husband would not get custody of the child. However over the years there has been much doubt regarding that confession and Debra Jean Milke was released from prison after serving over two decades. Roger Scott, Debra Milke and James Styer were arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Roger Scott 2021 Information
ASPC Eyman, Browning Unit
PO Box 3400
ROGER M. SCOTT 085024
Florence, AZ 85132
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On December 2, 1989, James Lynn Styers filed a missing child report, advising police that his roommate’s son, Christopher Milke (age 4), had disappeared during their visit to Metrocenter mall. Roger Mark Scott was present with Styers. On December 3, 1989, Scott admitted during a police interview that he had accompanied Styers the previous day to a desert wash in the area of 99th Avenue and Jomax Road where Styers shot and killed Christopher Milke. Styers agreed to provide Scott with $250 to file a social security claim. Styers believed he would receive some of Christopher’s $5,000 life insurance policy. At the conclusion of the interview, Mr. Scott led police to the desert area where they found Christopher Milke’s body. During a police interview, Debra Jean Milke, Christopher Milke’s mother, conceded that she had conspired with Styers to have her son killed. She indicated that it would be better to have her son die than grow up like her husband.
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Debra Jean Milke, one of the most polarizing inmates in Arizona history, is expected to leave jail today and will be taken to a house in Phoenix that her supporters bought for her as she awaits retrial in the 1989 killing of her 4-year-old son.
“At first, it was shock and disbelief, and then she was ecstatic,” Milke’s defense attorney, Michael Kimerer, told ABCNews.com. “She said, ‘Oh, I just can’t catch up with my feelings. It’s overwhelming.'”
Milke’s bond was set at $250,000 on Thursday as she awaits retrial. Her mother, who lives in Germany, was expected to post the money today, according to Kimerer.
Milke, now 49, has been cast as a coldhearted and calculating killer. In December 1989, according to prosecutors, she told her 4-year-old son, Christopher, that she was going to take him to see Santa Claus. Instead, they said, Milke handed her son over to two men who took him into the Arizona desert and killed him so she could collect an insurance payout.
Prosecutors said Milke confessed to Phoenix Police Det. Armando Saldate. However, he said he failed to tape record it.
Milke denied that she ever confessed, but was found guilty and sentenced to death.
In March, a federal appeals court overturned her conviction because the prosecution did not disclose Saldate’s history of misconduct, which included eight cases in which judges tossed out confessions, indictments and convictions because he lied under oath or violated suspects’ rights during interrogations.
“Milke’s conviction was based largely on the testimony of Police Det. Saldate, who allegedly obtained her confession,” the court wrote in its decision. “The panel held that the state remained unconstitutionally silent instead of disclosing information about Det. Saldate’s history of misconduct and accompanying court orders and disciplinary action.”
The ruling mandated that Arizona authorities turn over all of the information that was not disclosed during the trial to Milke’s defense team.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has vowed to retry Milke, and prosecutors will seek the death penalty, according to the Associated Press. Her retrial is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 30.
Roger Scott and James Styers, the two men who prosecutors claimed actually killed Milke’s son, were convicted and remain on death row.
Scott confessed to the crime during a police interrogation, according to the AP, and led police to the boy’s body. Neither man testified at Milke’s trial.
Despite becoming one of the most vilified inmates in Arizona history, Milke has also attracted a loyal group of supporters in Arizona and her native Germany who believe she is the victim of a “modern witch hunt,” according to a Facebook page maintained by her supporters.
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, two other women remain on death row in the state.
James Styers 2021 Information
ASPC Florence, Central Unit
PO Box 8200
JAMES L. STYERS 082792
Florence, AZ 85132