Honorable Judge Philip Volland
This letter is an extremely difficult one to write. As a mother I want to reach out to you to send our Mechele home. I hope that some of the letters you may receive will paint a picture of the Mechele you were never exposed to.
As a child Mechele was often quiet and shy, very much like her daughter,. She was a loving and giving child and got much more pleasure in watching butterflies rather than television. From her early childhood she loved animals. The only two things I absolutely refused to allow her to have was a snake and a monkey! Other than those two creatures our household always included various pets. Mechele’s love of animals carried into her adulthood. And, like the home she grew up in, their home is also shared by an assortment of dogs, a cat and two birds.
Her giving and caring nature extended to many people. While in grammar and high school she volunteered to tutor younger students who were having difficulty with reading and English. She never met a stranger and treated people equally regardless of their statue in life. When Hurricane Katrina struck our area in 2005 Mechele and Colin were in Belize. Upon their arrival home she was unable to contact us. Seeing the devastation on television she immediately loaded her SUV with food, water and supplies and drove to the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Olympia. We had four and a half feet of water in our home and lost all three automobiles. And of course all types of communication had become unavailable. Fortunately on her way here we finally got a signal on our cell phone and were able to assure her we were okay. She came equipped with tools and immediately began removing our soggy, moldy sheetrock. The supplies that we did not need she brought to a nearby shelter. When learning that the shelter was almost out of their diaper supply, she drove until she found them and brought them back to the shelter. I am not bragging on my daughter but simply trying to provide you with examples of the type of person that she is.
Her greatest accomplishment and joy has been my grandchild. Mechele has been an extraordinary mother. When Colin was deployed to Iraq Mechele explained to her that her daddy was serving his country and protecting her as well as everyone’s freedom. She has been a “hands on mom.” She has introduced her daughter to camping, skiing, ballet and how to attend a Christmas Tea. Colin is a wonderful father but he can’t take the place of Mechele. When they decided to open their clinic their daughter was brought in to design the Kids Korner. Their daughter has been the focal point of their lives since her arrival.
Judge Volland, I could continue to relate instances that reflect Mechele’s character but I think you can see that. I cannot see anything positive in keeping her in prison. What a loss that would be. Not just for her family but for the people that she has yet to help. Her contribution to society is truly an asset not a liability.
Finally I will beseech you to look into your heart and think of my grandchild. She needs her mother. This has been a devastating experience for her. I cannot envision her growing up without her mother. Colin can’t pick out dresses for dances nor teach her to fix her hair and the proper way to apply lipstick. Please don’t take that away from her. The time I spent at the trial leads me to conclude that you are a fair and just man. I trust that you will do everything within the realm of your power to send Mechele back to her family.
Sandy McWilliams Lowe