Homicide

Judge tosses murder case against Arizona woman who spent 22 years on death row in son's death

  • FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2013, file photo, Debra Jean Milke listens to a judge during a hearing at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. A judge on Monday, March 23, 2015, dismissed the murder case against Milke, who spent more than 20 years on death row in the 1989 killing of her 4-year-old son. Judge Rosa Mroz ended the case after prosecutors lost their last appeal last week. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2013, file photo, Debra Jean Milke listens to a judge during a hearing at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. A judge on Monday, March 23, 2015, dismissed the murder case against Milke, who spent more than 20 years on death row in the 1989 killing of her 4-year-old son. Judge Rosa Mroz ended the case after prosecutors lost their last appeal last week. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Debra Milke looks around the court room during a hearing, Monday, March 23, 2015, in Marcopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. Judge Rosa Mroz dismissed murder charges Monday against Milke without prejudice and ordered a probation officer to remove a monitoring device from her ankle. Milke, 51, spent 23 years on Arizona death row for the December 1989 murder of her four-year-old son, Christopher. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Mark Henle, Pool)

    Debra Milke looks around the court room during a hearing, Monday, March 23, 2015, in Marcopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. Judge Rosa Mroz dismissed murder charges Monday against Milke without prejudice and ordered a probation officer to remove a monitoring device from her ankle. Milke, 51, spent 23 years on Arizona death row for the December 1989 murder of her four-year-old son, Christopher. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Mark Henle, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Debra Milke looks around the courtroom during a hearing, Monday, March 23, 2015, in Marcopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. Judge Rosa Mroz dismissed murder charges Monday against Milke without prejudice and ordered a probation officer to remove a monitoring device from her ankle. Milke, 51, spent 23 years on Arizona death row for the December 1989 murder of her four-year-old son, Christopher. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Mark Henle, Pool)

    Debra Milke looks around the courtroom during a hearing, Monday, March 23, 2015, in Marcopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. Judge Rosa Mroz dismissed murder charges Monday against Milke without prejudice and ordered a probation officer to remove a monitoring device from her ankle. Milke, 51, spent 23 years on Arizona death row for the December 1989 murder of her four-year-old son, Christopher. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Mark Henle, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

A judge has dismissed the murder case against an Arizona woman who spent more than 20 years on death row in the killing of her 4-year-old son.

Judge Rosa Mroz ended the case against Debra Jean Milke on Monday after prosecutors lost their last appeal last week.

Milke was convicted of murder in 1990 in the death of her son, who thought he was going to see Santa Claus at a mall only to be taken to a desert by two men and shot in the head.

An appeals court overturned Milke's conviction in 2013, ruling that prosecutors failed to disclose a detective's history of misconduct. Her conviction was based entirely on a confession Milke gave to the now-discredited detective.