Sunday, July 27, 2008

First Post Concerning Trial (2 witnesses)

This first post about legal and trial items will be low on substance and is intended more as a first volley. Many more postings will follow. This really is the reason I have decided to make any posts at all. There are too many issues raised during the trial that went unreported that are vital to understanding the process that led to an innocent woman being convicted of murder. Some of them you will find extremely surprising.

Again, I will rely on transcripts, quotes, and even audio to lay down an empiric framework. From that empiric framework, it will then be possible for me to make a clear argument based on facts. Any postings will have to be cleared through Mechele’s lawyers and some of what I plan to post already has been cleared. What I would like to do now is to talk about some facts surrounding witnesses that testified for the state. The quotes from the legal transcripts will be added in later and this will just be a brief opening. I plan on adding much more, but I would like to point out some of the dubious testimony from a few individuals.

To be clear, there were four character witnesses that the prosecution called to impugn Mechele’s character. These were the individuals that the prosecution relied on to paint Mechele as “evil”. As a legal team, it was decided not to bring any character witnesses during the trial. This was decided because the witnesses of the prosecution were, to us, so unreliable and full of contradictions. Also, Mechele’s character wasn’t a legal factor. She could have been a junkie with no scruples with the worst attitude and demeanor known to man, but that wouldn’t have mattered per the judge’s own instructions. The case wasn’t about who Mechele was, but about whether the state could prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the scant circumstantial evidence left no doubt that Mechele planned a murder.

The latter posts will examine that circumstantial evidence in great detail and point out the many contradictions that the prosecution has yet to explain. They will involve testimony, emails and allegations. Let me start, however, with a few of the character witnesses. There were four witnesses used by the prosecution to paint Mechele as “evil”, greedy beyond measure, and completely selfish. The witnesses are Scott Hilke, Laura Aspiotis, Brett Ridell, and John Carlin IV.

1. Laura Aspiotis:

a. Laura is in individual who worked at the Bush Company with Mechele. Laura claimed to be friends with Mechele and stated that she hung out with Mechele outside of work multiple times. Unfortunately, for her credibility, she contradicted herself on the stand and Mr. Fitzgerald pointed out the fact that in her previous interviews she stated she only went over to Mechele’s house a few times.

b. Mr. Fitzgerald also pointed out that her previous statements indicated that she was anything but a “friend” and that Mechele and her were not close. In fact, she previously stated that she didn’t like Mechele at all.

i. One of the reasons Laura stated that she didn’t like Mechele was that Mechele helped to get John Carlin IV inpatient psychiatric treatment. This was because John was missing school, doing drugs, and had a suicide attempt. Since Mechele cared for John IV like a son, she demanded that he get help. When Laura was asked on the stand whether she felt an individual that was doing drugs, missing school, and attempting suicide might need psychiatric care, her response was, “I don’t know”.

c. Miss Aspiotis was also the individual that stated Mechele had a fictional “hero” from the movie “The Last Seduction”. If you have time, you can read my letter to the judge where I explain my knowledge of Mechele’s admiration of the actress Linda Fiorentino. I sat in court, amazed, that the judge was even considering letting the jury watch this movie that had no relation to the crime that the prosecution alleged. In fact, its sole purpose for the prosecution was to tie Mechele to a fictional sociopath (more on that later).

i. The prosecution had Miss Aspiotis’s journals entered into court the day of her testimony. In them, she repeats her disdain for Mechele. More importantly, however, she has a very strange habit of recording all the movies she watches. She has it down to the date she watched them, the story, and then gives a little review.

1. “The Last Seduction” is indeed listed in her journal. However, it states she watched it alone with her husband.

d. The prosecution asked the jury if they could stay a little later so they could finish up their questioning. After all, Miss Aspiotis had to get back to the East Coast to take care of her autistic child and this ordeal had been a great hardship on her.

i. Miss Aspiotis spent the next two days in Anchorage getting drunk with certain members of the media.

e. One of the jurors mentioned that a factor in determining Mechele’s guilt was that Mechele was “staring daggers” at Ms. Aspiotis during her testimony.

i. Really… Wow.

2. Brett Ridell:

a. Mr. Ridell is a convicted child molester who was brought in to testify that Mechele had manipulated him and stolen her property.

i. The property in question was a big red truck. I can’t even remember the make, but I can remember that when I met Mechele she had a big red truck parked in front of her house. She explained to me that it wasn’t hers and that she was trying to get it back to its owner.

1. I remember multiple times she was on the phone trying to track down Brett so he could come and get his truck or pay for it to be shipped up to AK.

2. I know that having this truck was a big pain in the butt, and, on a selfish note, it was taking up a parking spot.

3. It is hard to contact someone to give back their property that they lent you when that person in incarcerated for molesting children.

b. Mr. Ridell also made statement during trial about his relationship with Mechele. Every one of those statements was contradicted by his own voice during a police interview that was played back to him by Mr. Fitzgerald (more on this later) during the trial.

More on the other two witnesses in future posts. I am actually kind of working under a deadline with these posts as I want to get them up before the NBC broadcast. I have been super busy with work at my clinic, work with the Army, medical issues at Hiland, and participation with the appellate case. More importantly, I have been busy with my two main jobs: Husband and Father. Many pots on the stove, but none are burning.

Thanks to all of you who have read these posts with an open mind and are interested in learning more. Because, folks, there is a lot more.

Colin Linehan

No comments: