ANCHORAGE, Alaska — State prosecutors announced Monday that they will not seek a second murder indictment against Mechele Linehan, the woman whose 2007 conviction for the 1996 murder of Kent Leppink was subsequently overturned.
Both Linehan and John Carlin III were convicted of first-degree murder in Leppink’s death after prosecutors said Linehan, a former stripper, convinced Carlin to kill Leppink.
The Alaska Court of Appeals overturned Linehan’s conviction in 2010, noting that the state’s case against her was circumstantial and that three pieces of evidence, including a letter written by Leppink implicating Linehan were he to die suspiciously, were improperly admitted at trial.
The state announced that it would retry Linehan for murder, with plans for the new trial delayed to 2012. After a motion from Linehan’s attorney arguing that Leppink’s letter remained inadmissible, however, Judge Philip Volland dismissed the state’s new indictment in December. Linehan was released in January and promptly boarded a flight to Washington state.