Friday, July 25, 2008

Kristina's Sentencing Letter

Judge Volland:

I am writing to urge you to be as lenient as possible when you
consider a sentence for Mechele Linehan for the following reasons.

Mechele Linehan is and has been a great and dear friend of mine for
the last seven years. Our daughters became great friends as toddlers
and we have shared treasured family fun since then.
Mechele and I met seven years ago at our neighborhood bakery. She
and her husband, Colin, had an enormous friendly dog. We soon found
out we had daughters the same age and each lived in an historic
home. Both of us worked in the political arena and had more in
common that contributed to us becoming great friends. I am presently
providing consulting services with my office in my home. Prior to
this, I was employed by Pfizer as Government Relations Manager for
the Northwest and held that job for 12 years. I graduated from the
University of Oregon with a degree in broadcast Journalism.

Mechele would be the first person to drop everything to help a
friend. When her husband's best friend from childhood lost his
brother, Mechele was the first to arrive on the scene to help the
distraught family and comfort them. This ready sacrifice fit in with
the volunteer work I had known her to do. She helped the County
Crisis Hot Line Clinic improve their operations, worked at the local
homeless shelter and more charitable organizations. I was
continually impressed and marveled at her patience with difficult
people and situations and her willingness to serve those less

She inspires me as a mother and citizen. When I would get
frustrated, she would show me the way to find grace with any
situation. Mechele is an enviable mother with charming counsel
perpetually available to her beautiful and intelligent little girl.
She provides love, grace, comforting boundaries, wisdom and beautiful
counsel to her daughter. Her constant presence at all her daughter's
schools was a commendable achievement few could emulate.

She treated the rude with "southern charm" continually showing me
that grace and humility improve the situation and indulging anger
does not.

Her daughter is a beautiful girl with impressive wisdom.
Her mother was rarely away from her side - continually volunteering
at school and encouraging Audrey through activities. Mechele invited
my daughter and I to see the Nutcracker in Seattle. My
daughter treasures those trips we had. Mechele's parenting wisdom
helped me through many frustrating moments – and always with advice
that allowed me to be kind and patient with the teachable moment.

My daughter's first sleepover was at Mechele's home. The little girls all
had a wonderful time and were even willing to go on a long walk with
Mechele's encouragement and ability to convey joy for life's little
pleasures. I trust her completely with my three children (I have
twin boys who are one year older than their sister) and they adore
her – not shy about protesting this accusation and conviction. She
is part of our extended family.

For a woman who was wrongfully convicted this ordeal is horrific.
For her family and friends this is a nightmare. For her daughter
this is a devastating blow that likely damages her future in many

I miss her so very much and cannot see her incarceration as justice.
She lived an exemplary life in Olympia which I truly believe is the
real Mechele. I cannot find in my heart, mind or soul that Mechele
is someone that is capable of the alleged crime. Not once did I see
anything in her that would have ever indicated she was capable of
doing wrong to anyone. It's just, in plain words, not her nature.

I plead with you to allow Mechele to return home to the many family,
friends and community organizations that miss her, need her ready
help, her parenting, and love her. I beg you to please allow her to
return as soon as possible.


Kristina Hermach

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