Monday, June 30, 2008

Kevin's Sentencing Letter

Your Honor, this letter is in regards to Mechele Linehan, who will be sentenced in your court this month. I’m writing in hopes for your leniency when deciding upon her fate.

I am Mechele’s friend and neighbor, and I wanted to take some time to let you know what she means to my family.

Mechele was the first person to welcome us to the neighborhood when we moved here to Olympia. She came over with her daughter, who’d baked us cookies. First impressions mean a great deal to me. Mechele made a good one. And the remainder of the impressions she’s left on me have been as good and better.

She’s a kind and loving person. She’s the first person I would have trusted to baby-sit my youngest son. Mechele was taken away to jail on the day before she was going to do just that. She asked my wife and I if she could do that for us, so that we could have some time for a date on our anniversary. She’s the first person for which my two-year-old has expressed love outside of our family. Both my sons love her very much, actually.

She adopted us into her family from the get-go, making us feel welcome in our new city. Mechele, her husband, and daughter invited us to go with them to the beach just days after we met them. She made sure to invite us to their family gatherings for the holidays, or when they all (mothers, brothers, sisters, kids and friends) got together to make some good food. Welcoming, that’s Mechele.

Even before her trial, while she was wearing an electronic monitoring device, and had to have certain people with her every moment, she took the time and effort to continue get-togethers, making pizza for her friends and family. During that time, she still kept up her new business, still kept up her great mothering, still maintained friendships, still rescued animals, and worked, worked, worked. She even helped out a young woman whose boyfriend was abusing her, taking her in for a short time. I’m a good person, but she’s better.

She’s even trying to make prison better for the people there. Amazing.

She saves animals. Dogs, birds, cats, you name it—if it needs help, she’s the first to try. People, too. Anything you need, if she has it, it’s yours. Honestly, I cannot believe Mechele is in prison.

When she first told us about this situation, when she was contacted by the police, she was straight and honest. She let us know exactly what was going on. Mechele is honest. That’s something you learn right away. She’s not mean, but she’s honest. You don’t ask her opinion if you’re looking for someone to agree with you. You ask because she’ll tell you the truth.

Mechele has already been taken away from us for too long. My family is suffering without her. It’s hard to imagine exactly what this is doing to hers. What I’ve seen mostly is her daughter trying to not feel so lost without her mom, and Colin trying to hold onto all the reins, and be a mother and father to his daughter. Their daughter has grown quiet and reserved. We try our best to imagine what’s going on in her head, but that’s a difficult thing to imagine. It’s pretty heartbreaking. Her daughter came over to bake cookies for the holidays. She seemed sad. Mechele has always been right there beside her family. Taking her daughter to school in the mornings, picking her up in the afternoon. She’s very active in her school life—PTA and all. Her daughter needs her mom.

My family misses her every day. Her family has a gaping hole in it. Please consider who she is to us, and to her family, and the rest of her friends when you consider her sentence. Mechele is good. I know that.

Thank you for your time.

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