I do not agree that John Carlin was guilty. You can discount my reasons because they come from other commenters, but you cannot say that I agree that John was guilty.
"The physical evidence was spare: three shell casings, two sets of footprints going up this rise and only one set coming back down again." ----- NBC Dateline
oohhh for heavenly cupcakes' sakes, alaska is +10 hours for me!! flourish I expect an "interoffice memo" or something when I wake up in the morning!!
It's highly possibly that I am the only person confused here, but even if it's just for me, I'm retracing the "fraud" discussion chronologically. If I missed a post, please speak up, I searched for the word "fraud" in the thread, so it's entirely possible something was missed.
I've snipped some or all of the following posts, for space and emphasis.
It's still practically novella-length, so I apologize in advance for the wall of text
Okay, now that made it slightly clearer than mud
We all know there never has been a link to the entire letter, as it was never released. The fact that Kent, in his letter, accused Mechele of fraud was mentioned. It was asked where it says that. I found where I saw that it said that. There are no links to the entire letter. There never were. I was wondering if anyone knew anything more about it. Since we're all asking each other for more links, I'm guessing we don't. However, turtlepace, you specified that the fraud portion was in regards to an expectation of marriage...where did that come from?
I'm only an hour earlier than Alaska. I don't know whether or not I'll get to watch, though, or should I say "weather" or not (weak joke, I know)...because it's snowy out here today and I live where everyone freaks when it snows, so if there's snow tomorrow, school will likely by cancelled and I will be able to watch. In that case, I'll report as real-timeish as I can. Otherwise, I can try to watch from work after I get the kids on the bus, but it will be after the hearing starts and possibly somehow blocked at work (they don't love streaming video there...it's like they want us to actually work or something LOL).
Have I mentioned how nice it will be to have some movement of some kind on this case?
I can't imagine what the Leppinks are feeling today.
Nor Mechele's family. What a horrible situation for everyone.
Except the claims are that it was an assisted suicide of sorts--Kent was so angry with Mechele for blowing him off that he orchestrated his own "murder" in order to frame her--so there was a shooter besides Kent, but it was a suicide because he set it up himself. Or so the "theory" goes. I don't have a link for this "theory" as it is just the ramblings of random commentators over at the Anchorage Daily News, many of which were removed during the changeover of the comment system over there, or "timed out" or whatever links do when they go away to die.
What we have is a very manipulative woman that lied to Kent until he believed that they were to be married. Afterwards, she milked him for everything he was worth, always threatening him with cutting off her affection if he didn't follow her demands. The relationship was filled with manipulation and a complete absence of trust. Shortly before Kent was murdered, that woman, Michele Hughes-Linehan, purchased a life insurance policy for Kent, naming herself as beneficiary. Then, through additional manipulations, she and John cooked up a set of circumstances to lure Kent to Hope, where he was murdered and left beside a logging road.
That evidence suggests a premeditated murder, not a murder arranged by the victim.
A new documentary on the Linehan case is scheduled to be aired on Investigation Discovery, Thursday, Jan 19 at 9:00 pm eastern time.
no one has any info on the hearing yesterday? I cant find anything anywhere. no updates on the "free mechele" facebook page either.
Kent said in his letter that the letter would have been destroyed if Mechele had married him. The unsubstantiated accusation of murder was the last of a set of smears that do not prove why Mechele would want Kent dead but show that Kent wanted to discredit Mechele. That's why the prosecutor didn't want the fraud part of the letter presented as evidence.
"- Fraud - She took me for a lot of money on the impression we were getting married. This may be hard to prove without me present, but give it a shot. It's a class B Felony in Alaska. $15000 can be proven because you sent it to us." Kent Leppink's letter
The ADNews did have a link for the letter for a short time, but deleted it. I don't know if Mechele's taking money from Kent under the impression they were getting married is a class B Felony in Alaska or not. If she really did use the impression they were getting married to manipulate money from Kent, I think it is unethical, but I do not think it is a motive to conspire to murder.
I also think it strange that certain facts like the letter can be taken for granted without a link, but others that are not relevant to convicting Mechele have to have links.
Kent had gone to Hope on April 27, 1996 and and there's a rumour that Kent's mother said on TV that Kent told her that John went with him. Kent asked the residents of Hope about Mechele and the recently renovated cabin and was told that they were not there.
The Seychelles email starts with Mechele's wondering how Kent took to being told that she was 2 1/2 hours away from Anchorage. Hope is 1 1/2 hours away from Anchorage by car. Barrow is 2 1/2 hours away from Anchorage by plane.
Mechele supposedly told the police she had returned to Anchorage by 1 AM May 2, 1996. If she had, wouldn't Kent have known about it? Why would he go to Hope looking for her? If Kent had left home before Mechele and John got back from the airport, how would they know where Kent had gone?
If Mechele really returned to Anchorage later that morning after Kent had already left home, how would John know where Kent had gone? They had separate rooms. Neither John's car nor Kent's car was used.
Where is the evidence that John was ever at the murder scene? John's gun was a rare gun, but not unique. Where is the evidence tying John's gun to the murder scene?
How does Kent's being dead prove who killed him? Why did Kent return to Hope five days after he had already found out Mechele was not there? How is it proved that the person who took Kent to Hope on May 2, 1996 was John? Why was the rest of Kent's life not investigated to determine what else might have been involved in his death? Did the police just want to convict Mechele and John was an easy route to that?
Couple of things
- No snow today so no watching live for me. I am actually an hour later than Alaska, not earlier as I mistakenly typed earlier. I'll try to watch what I can.
- And yeah it is today not yesterday as yesterday was a US holiday.
- Questions about links can best be answered by a mod.
- It is my understanding that only parts of Kent's letter were available at various points in time, but the entire thing was never available?
- I wonder if the new show on ID is just a re-edited version of the old 48 Hours episode...I'll be sure to DVR it, thanks
Well, that was kinda lame. Super short. It was kinda loud in my office when I was watching, but if I heard and understood correctly:
- Mechele's bail restrictions have been lifted. I assume that means she can go back to Washington?
- The state did not say they are not seeking another indictment, however. They said there is an issue with the youngest Carlin being a witness...sounds like perhaps he's not doing it willingly? In any case, it sounds like the state intends to seek another indictment, but is waiting to iron out details, etc. with the young Carlin (maybe he'll be a hostile witness?)
- Is the state able to read in court the testimony provided by youngest Carlin at the first trial?
- I'm curious as to whether or not Mechele's sister will manage to be in the country for this trial.
- I'm not thrilled at not having a definite answer about the indictment. However, when the judge (not Volland today although it sounds like it will be in the future) asked if the prosecution agreed on the lifting of the bail restrictions, the judge asked if they were not going to be seeking a new indictment, and the prosecutor said "that's not accurate" and then explained about the troubles with the youngest Carlin.
So I guess it's more wait and see wait and see...we'll see how Mechele's supporters interpreted today's proceedings.
She is free to leave Alaska and has no restrictions. For now.
Prosecutors say they have not yet made a decision on pursuing a new trial for Mechele Linehan, and she will be released from bail requirements that have kept her in Alaska since 2006, when she was indicted in the 1996 murder of her former fiance....
Prosecutors and the state Department of Law continue to discuss whether they will seek another indictment and present the case, again, to a grand jury, said Assistant Attorney General Paul Miovas.
"We're still in a holding pattern," Miovas said Tuesday. "There are a few legal issues that we need to work through before we can be at a point where that would even be possible."
[*]Mechele's bail restrictions have been lifted. I assume that means she can go back to Washington?[*]The state did not say they are not seeking another indictment, however. They said there is an issue with the youngest Carlin being a witness...sounds like perhaps he's not doing it willingly? In any case, it sounds like the state intends to seek another indictment, but is waiting to iron out details, etc. with the young Carlin (maybe he'll be a hostile witness?)[*]Is the state able to read in court the testimony provided by youngest Carlin at the first trial?
This question bothered me sometime ago and I asked Nancy Botwin about it. The question and her response follows. It is a complicated situation.
Originally Posted by marilhicks View Post
I was wondering about allowable testimony in the upcoming trial. Can Carlin IV refuse to testify as Judge Volland seemed to suggest? If so, canít he be subpoenaed? If he canít be forced to testify, can his testimony in the first trial be introduced? (Logic and fairness would suggest that isnít possible to me.) Are interviews he gave to news organizations regarding the gun allowable?
Would the same hold for the Carlinís taped interviews where he states he thought his gun was involved, that he got rid of it and that he didnít trust Mechele? Or would the fact that he cannot be cross examined by the defense preclude this?
This is such important testimony it would be a problem if it cannot be used.
These are awesome and important questions-- if the prosecution couldn't use any of these statements, they would have serious problems.
Carlin IV's Prior Testimony Would Be Admissible:
I think Carlin IV can be subpoenaed to testify at the retrial. Of course it is possible that he will still refuse to testify or go into hiding, etc. I think this is unlikely given the fact that he has a pending civil case against the Alaska DOC (alleging the wrongful death of Carlin III while incarcerated). However, if he refuses or otherwise evades testifying, his prior testimony at Linehan's first trial CAN be used at the retrial. This is based on exceptions to hearsay law and an evolving body of jurisprudence which affords for the use of prior statements and testimony when the declarant (Carlin IV) is unavailable but the party against whom the statement is offered (Linehan) has had a prior opportunity to cross-examine that testimony. (Mechele was able to cross-examine Carlin IV at her first trial, i.e. her constitutional right to confront her accuser has been satisfied and the prior testimony can be admitted at the new trial if necessary.)
The legal issues surrounding the admissibility of Carlin III's prior statements are more complicated and nuanced. The main issue is whether those statements were "testimonial" in nature. If the statements are testimonial, Linehan has a constitutional right to confront/cross-examine the speaker. Generally speaking, testimonial statements are statements which were elicited or made in anticipation of litigation; or when the speaker (Carlin) reasonably believed those statements would be used against (Linehan) in a criminal proceeding.
So the rule is:
In situations where the declarant (Carlin III) is unavailable as a witness (deceased), and that statement is testimonial in nature, it cannot be offered as evidence against Linehan unless she has had a prior opportunity to cross-examine the witness.
Carlin III Police Interviews Are Not Admissible:
Carlin III's taped police interviews are testimonial as a matter of law. (They were formal statements made to law enforcement and solicited in the course of a criminal investigation). This means they can only be offered as evidence against Linehan if she had a prior opportunity to cross-examine him. Because Linehan did not have that opportunity, Carlin III's taped police interrogations will NOT be admitted as evidence against her at the retrial, IMO.
Carlin III's Media Interviews Probably Admissible:
This one involves more subjective interpretation than the other two. Carlin's various interviews with the media were all given post-conviction, as I recall. It was only after both Linehan and Carlin were convicted that he first admitted owning and disposing of a Desert Eagle after Leppink's murder. Because those statements were made in voluntary interviews with journalists and after both Carlin and Linehan were convicted, I don't think the statements were given in anticipation of litigation or with the reasonable belief they would be used against Linehan in a criminal action, i.e. they were not testimonial. Consequently, I think Carlin's statements to journalists CAN be offered as evidence against Linehan at the retrial.
The hearsay exceptions and attendant Confrontation Clause issues are confusing and complicated. This article does a good job explaining the issues and provides a flow-chart for evaluating whether a statement will generally be admissible.
Is Carlin Jr waiting for some sort of compensation for testifying (doing the right thing), putting his father in prison and then the people he trusted (authorities) letting his father be murdered in prison?
If so, he's probably really pissed off and unwilling to cooperate without compensation for his loss.