Linehan's 'exotic' past to be part of testimony

September 13, 2007 

Mechele Linehan's past as a stripper at the Great Alaskan Bush Co. is relevant to the case against her and jurors will hear about it, Judge Philip Volland ruled Tuesday in Anchorage Superior Court.

Linehan's lawyers had argued against any mention of her previous employment, saying it might show her in an unjust light. They said she quit the job shortly before her fiance, Kent Leppink, was killed, and it was not relevant.

Volland disagreed. Linehan met Leppink, and John Carlin III, who has already been convicted of the murder, when she was working, and it is important for jurors to know the dynamics of the relationships involved, he said.

Prosecutor Pat Gullufsen promised not to use the word "stripper" but will refer to her as "an exotic dancer."

Linehan and Carlin were arrested in October 2006 and charged with murdering Leppink. Investigators said the lovers conspired to kill him for a $1 million life insurance policy that Linehan erroneously believed named her as beneficiary.

Carlin was convicted of murder in April.

Linehan's lawyers have said they plan to argue that Linehan had nothing to do with the murder and that Carlin acted alone.

Jury selection for Linehan's trial begins this week.

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