Lawyers for convicted killer Linehan file appeal

Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2008

ANCHORAGE - Two prominent lawyers have filed an appeal in the case of Mechele Linehan - the former stripper who was convicted of murdering a former fiance.

The 35-year-old woman maintains her innocence in the death of Kent Leppink, a 36-year-old commercial fisherman who was shot to death in 1996. His body was found off a trail in a wooded area of Hope. Prosecutors say Linehan and another man orchestrated the murder in the mistaken belief that Linehan would get insurance money.

The appeal was filed last week by Jeff Feldman and Susan Orlansky. The lawyers list 38 reasons why they believe Linehan did not get a fair trial.

"A verdict that resulted from an unprofessional investigation followed by a disingenuous prosecution demands, in the name of justice, to be appealed," said husband Colin Linehan, when reached Tuesday afternoon in Olympia, Wash.

Feldman and Orlansky are some of Alaska's best-known lawyers. Feldman has handled such clients as BP and former Gov. Tony Knowles. Feldman declined to talk about whether they are working on the case pro bono or charging their normal high fees.

The case will likely be heard by the Court of Appeals in the late fall or early 2009, Feldman said.

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