Monday, June 16, 2008

Appeal Update

The defense attorneys have all the transcripts from the previous trial in for the appeal. One step is done!

To see more on the appeal timeline, go here.

22 comments:

Turtlepace said...

I found an interesting article in the Olympian about footprints at the crime scene. A policeman had reported their size as being too small to be those of John Carlin III. I think the article was titled "Olympian woman extradited (Oct. 13, 2006)" because that article will not come up anymore. I know I didn't dream that article out of thin air, but I cannot find it now.

Was this policeman's report brought up in the trial? I know that no photos or other evidence such as castings were collected, but were these footprints considered irrelevant also?

Mechele's Friends said...

You bring up a good point, turtlepace. I do believe I heard/read something like that as well.

I'm not an expert on all the evidence by any means, but there was certainly plenty of questionable pieces of evidence from what I saw and heard.

Colin has plans to get on this blog more as he is able and he will probably post more technical-type stuff involving the case as he is very familiar with the details and knows more what can and cannot be discussed. Thanks for your interest and comment.

McLarenF1SLK said...

I believe these footprints were dismissed because the scene was completely trampled when the troopers showed up. It seemed to me that they dismissed the footprints because they had completely contaminated the crime scene. It was one disaster after another.

Also, Carlin III has very unusual feet. They are extremely wide (I believe he has to buy special shoes). This would likely make his footprints easily identifiable. In my opinion it was yet another piece of evidece that could have been used but was instead washed away to support the most convenient theory--and to cover up how little investigating was actually done.

Turtlepace said...

The accusation in Kent Leppink's letter that Michele was having him killed is an assertion creating an assumption of guilt. Did he have anything in his letter explaining why he asserted that accusation? Was the defense given any opportunity to examine this assertion? Were Kent Leppink's own motives for saying such a thing examined in the trial?

sandymc said...

There were footprints at the crimescene but by the time the police had gathered there they were not sure which were the original footprints. Nothing could be determined of any use from the scene except that one may have actually been the victims. Hopefully this site can help clarify some of the issues surrounding this case. Thanks for your questions and concerns!

jo said...

Prostitution in the mid 90's in Anchorage

I'm just wondering if anyone on Mechele Linehan's case investigated what was happening during the time frame of her "working the strip clubs" in Anchorage. Read up on the first prostitution case for sex trafficking in Anchorage - "Jerry Starr" or Don Webster. Did anyone also investigate other similar cases of men and women near to 1996. Listen to some of the comments from other prostitutes of that time frame.
Also did anyone ask the question how men 20 years older, wiser, and substantially more financially stable in Anchorage were consistently "working" young women with out any homes, job skills, or monies. These ladies had very low self esteem, some were afraid, some would do anything not to return to a family that may just ridicule them more. Did these men "use" their security - (safe home, food, shelter, money and just simple adult wisdom) to manipulate Mechele. How scared was she of one or of both men?
My heart goes out to our young women who are "used" by men who are 20+ years older and wiser in every manner. I'm sorry our society did not adequitely provide an alternative for young women in this time period and many young women were victims of men 20+ years older.

Mechele's Friends said...

Jo, you raise an interesting point. I agree that younger women are certainly vulnerable to the "help" of older men. I would like to point out, however, that there is a big difference between dancing (which Mechele did) and prostitution (which she did not.

sandymc said...

Great point, Jo! Of course NOTHING was ever mentioned of Kent, John as well as Scott being frequent patrons of the strip club. That didn't sell as well as "Stripper turned Soccer Mom!" By the way, Mechele was never a soccer mom either...but the media didn't care!

sandymc said...

Some interesting news....seems a convicted murder named Corley Fox has contacted Mechele's attys. He claims he murdered Kent and has all the details to prove it...we don't want to place much hope in this guy but in case you hear any rumors it is being checked out!!

Turtlepace said...

I saw in one newspaper account that the weapon was identified by a cartridge that was left behind. Was this the only identification or were the slugs recovered and examined? I realize that remnants of bullets cannot be compared to a missing gun, but it would be strange if they are inconsistent in type from the cartridge from which they are supposed to come.

Turtlepace said...

I think it's been said before, but I will say it again. The Hope Note "lured" Kent Leppink away from Anchorage when Mechele was on her way to California, but on his way back to Anchorage on April 27, 1996, Kent Leppink had to know the Hope Note was a fraud. He had asked about Mechele and the cabin while he was in Hope and nobody knew anything about either. It's not as though Hope is so big that the people there wouldn't notice her or a cabin that had just been renovated.

And the games he played with the life insurance and the letter to his parents indicate that Kent Leppink had gone from being manipulated to being the one who does the manipulations. I don't know where the Hope Note was "discovered," but if it were in his pocket on May 2, 1996, he had it for manipulation of the police. It is beyond reason to believe it "lured" him to Hope a second time.

The Hope Note could not lure Kent Leppink to his death.

Turtlepace said...

No one knows how Kent Leppink got to Hope, Alaska on May 2, 1996, but it doesn't make sense that John Carlin III took him there. Kent Leppink had already written the letter to his parents saying that John and Michele were trying to kill him. Kent would have to have been stupid to go with John to a deserted road in the middle of wilderness.

But Kent Leppink was obsessed enough to go with an accomplice who would help him frame John and Michele for murder. As Kent wrote in his letter, he wanted Michele to know how much he loved her while she was being punished.

Turtlepace said...

Maybe it's a small thing, but I've been wondering about something the prosecution and hecklers seem to feel a compulsion to say whenever they refer to the life insurance. They seem to say that Mechele's not knowing she was not a beneficiary is some sort of admission of guilt. This seems to stem from an investigator's interview with her where he tells her this to see how she will react. And he uses her reaction as part of legal proceedings asking for a subpoena.

Now how is "guilty" surprise distinguished from "innocent" surprise? Surprise is just confusion in general, and the investigator finding guilt therein seems pretty close to a mind reader to me. And he was not the only mind reader in this case, but there's another question. If her detractors seem to find it easy to see what's on her mind just by looking at her, how could such an open person be as manipulative and deceitful as her detractors say?

Turtlepace said...

The prosecutor emphasized Mechele's email in which she mentions the Seychelles islands. The wording I have been able to find is:

"Did you know that you can buy a citizenship in the Seychelles for around ten mil?" ... "No matter what crimes you have committed, they will not extradite?"

The prosecutor of course provides the context that she is planning her escape after the murder. I don't know if I've found all of the part about the Seychelles Islands, but did the prosecutor refer to the entire email to get the proper context? I have read that Mechele's emails are long rambling affairs that don't seem to connect together anyhow. If her normal mode of conversation is innocent chatter, how can the prosecutor find so much significance in one small part of it?

Besides, she didn't follow the "plan" even if there were one! If "mil" stands for a million dollars, how realistic was such an escape plan? And if the insurance were the motive for this murder, how does she collect after making it obvious the insurance company wouldn't have to pay?

Mechele's Friends said...

Yes, it is quite ridiculous to plan to buy $10 million worth of extradition with $1 million.

And yes, rambling happens. We always get sidetracked during conversations as one interesting thing turns to another. Mechele has a zest for life and learning. She loves to travel and knows about a lot of different things and places. She could totally pop a little tidbit like that randomly into a conversation.

Turtlepace said...

Did the prosecutor really call the relationship between Mechele and Kent "high romance" because of the value of the things Kent gave her? I have a real problem with the notion that any man can "buy" a bride. If there were some scam law she was supposed to have broken, why wasn't she charged with that accusation before the statute of limitations applied? Convicting her of a scam but punishing her for murder isn't right. Anyhow, I've never known anywhere else that a woman didn't have the right to change her mind about who she would marry.

Turtlepace said...

Kent Leppink made the initial accusation of conspiracy in his letter to his parents. Is it Mr. Leppink’s unproved accusation of conspiracy that the prosecutor used to interpret many events as evidence of murder? And then did the prosecutor use these interpreted evidence to prove conspiracy to murder? How can circumstantial evidence that itself is open to interpretation and doubt be used to interpret other circumstantial evidence?

Turtlepace said...

Kent Leppink may have forged love letter purportedly from Mechele. If so, did he also forge e-mails the prosecution made such a big deal over? The laptop had been his until shortly before he died, and he lived in the same house for some time. He certainly had access to whichever computer was in that house. Of course he probably didn't forge the e-mail accusing himself of drug addiction.

Turtlepace said...

I know my notes to this blog may seem strange since I am nobody Mechele or John would know and I don't live in Alaska or Washington. I'm just a tourist who liked to read the Anchorage Daily News and pretend to be Alaskan. I read the articles about the trials since they were part of the paper, but I couldn't understand how the prosecution could determine degrees of manipulation, deceit, and seduction worse than anyone else and how they could jump from that to murder.

And when I asked friends and neighbors for their opinions, for the most part they got stuck on the "exotic dancer" part and never really considered the strange legal issues. One neighbor simply said that Michele had found a so-called friend in me for asking the questions but insisted there must be more to the accusations than I was finding. I even asked a gay couple in my neighborhood thinking I would get a neutral response. The response was to ask when I would go to Alaska to see Mechele.

I am getting tired of apologizing for the term "exotic dancer." The mistress I am searching for is Lady Justice, and if I ask dumb questions along the way, it is just my way of exploring the injustice of these convictions.

Turtlepace said...

The prosecution would not admit that the stalking Mechele told Scott Hilke was true. The defense demonstrated Kent Leppink's stalking through the stolen personal items found in Kent his car after he was dead, but doesn't his rush to Hope after stealing the Hope Note also shows Mr. Leppink's stalking. What did he expect to do if he had found Mechele and Scott there? Invade their privacy like he did in Mississippi? Or something else? At six foot four inches of height he was a big man. Even if he didn't have the missing gun, he could have been dangerous. I think Mechele had ample reason to want to avoid him at the airport.

Turtlepace said...

In a newspaper report which seems to be withdrawn now, there is Carlin's son's description of the surprise when he finds the Desert Eagle in a plastic bag in a closet. Maybe that closet was not where the gun was normally kept, but Carlin did say later that the gun had been missing for months. Kent Leppink had stolen personal papers from Mechele and Scott. Is it such a stretch of reason to accept that Mr. Leppink who lived in the same house would have known where to find the Desert Eagle in order to steal it also?

It is also not a stretch of reason to see that Carlin would panic on seeing the weapon that had been missing during that critical period. Carlin would have known he had been set up, but why wash it? The person who sold it to him could and did identify it as being his. The only reason to get rid of the fingerprints would be that he didn't want his son's fingerprints on it. And that's what he said was his reason.

It was a risk for Mr. Leppink's accomplice to return the weapon to Carlin's house, but wasn't it crucial to his plan of martyrdom? In addition to wanting Mechele and Carlin framed for his death, (and Scott of he could manage it!), didn't he wanted his parents to collect the insurance money? The insurance company wasn't going to pay if his death was suicide or if it looked like he had arranged for his own death.

Isn't that also the fallacy in the insurance being Mechele's motive to murder Mr. Leppink? As long as the police considered her a suspect, would the insurance company have ever been willing to pay the insurance to her? Whoever heard of an insurance company that eager to pay a claim?

Turtlepace said...

I do think that Kent Leppink's letter to his parents is a biased statement and that the term "burn" is particularly pejorative.