MCSO: Arias wanted Milke as a neighbor in jail - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

MCSO: Arias wanted Milke as a neighbor in jail

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A FOX 10 EXCLUSIVE

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- They are maybe the two highest profile female criminals in Arizona. One of them has been on death row. One of them may soon be going there -- and both of them are going to be in court Friday.

Debra Milke was convicted of taking part in the murder of her young son more than 20 years ago.  She was recently released from prison and may be re-tried.

Jodi Arias is facing a re-trial in the sentencing phase of her murder case and could take Milke's place on death row.

And there's another connection between the two women.

For a short time earlier this year, Milke was moved from Perryville Prison to the Maricopa County Jail so she could attend court hearings in her case.

Arias found out about that and made efforts to get Milke in the cell right next to her.

Milke was on Arizona's death row for over two decades.  Arias may soon be headed there, so maybe it's not that surprising to learn that when Milke was going through new court hearings this year and was briefly put in the Maricopa County Jail, Arias sent a request to jail administrators, according to the sheriff's office.  That request: Would they put Milke in the cell right next to her?

It's as close as you can get in this unit where women are housed one to a cell and the only way to speak is through a small metal grate in the door.

The request was refused.  A sheriff's office spokesperson releasing a statement saying simply, "We don't allow inmates to pick their cellies.. this isn't a hotel."

Why did Jodi want her so close?

"Maybe to get advice.. Debra has been through this before... What am I facing.. what are the lawyers going to do for me? Do I have any hope?" said Paul Huebl.

Huebl, a private investigator and former reporter who is set to testify in Milke's case.  Like Arias, Milke gave a controversial interview just after her conviction.

"The day before she was sentenced to death, she gave me an exclusive interview for Channel 10 right here, against her attorney's advice," he said.

But while Milke basically stayed silent in the decades since that interview, Jodi continues to share her feelings, sell her artwork and respond to media reports through her Twitter account.

Milke is now a free woman awaiting a new trial after a confession in her case was thrown into doubt.  The only way we've seen her is in this video on her Facebook page, reuniting with her mother -- the two sharing a long embrace and then posing for photos and a still picture inside the same house, holding a flower.

She is not speaking publicly at all, but is happy she is free for now.

"She's enjoying her freedom.. she's enjoying learning about technology.. just the changes that have happened in the last two decades since she's been locked up," said Huebl.

And she's staying quiet until her case is settled.  And even though she didn't get to ask her in person, maybe it's advice Jodi might still take as she faces the possibility of her own time on death row.

Both Arias and Milke will appear in court Friday.  And both are crucial hearings.  We may find out if that questionable confession of Milke's will come into a new trial and we may finally have a trial date for Arias' penalty phase.

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